Armed with only a can of spray paint, an artist located in Manchester, England, is determined to rid the streets of potholes. How does one get rid of a potholes when city officials don't take the issue seriously? By drawing penises on them of course.
The anonymous artist goes by the name "Wanksy", a clever spin-off of the famous street artists Banksy. The artist decided to draw attention to the "appalling" pothole-ridden streets after some of his cyclists friends were badly injured due to the potholes on the streets.
“I wanted to attract attention to the pothole and make it memorable. Nothing seemed to do this better than a giant comedy phallus,” he said. “It’s also speedy, I don’t want to be in the road for a long time. It seems to have become my signature. I just want to make people smile and draw attention to the problem.”
The artist uses non-permanent paint that washes out within a week or two. Despite the paint's short life span, the potholes have been getting fixed quicker than they were previously. So apparently a penis on the street elevates the urgency of road repair.
"People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it,” the artist said. “Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed."
The local government is not amused.
A council spokesman in Bury, a town in Greater Manchester, told the Evening News that the artist’s actions “are not only stupid but incredibly insulting to local residents. Has this person, for just one second, considered how families with young children must feel when they are confronted with these obscene symbols as they walk to school? Not only is this vandalism, but it’s also counter-productive,” the spokesman said. “Every penny that we have to spend cleaning off this graffiti is a penny less that we have to spend on actually repairing the potholes.”
Regardless of whether the local government has to spend more to clean the graffiti, the artist is ultimately succeed in his goal. And from the looks of the repair jobs, the local government is spending no time or money trying to remove the graffiti. Rather, they are just covering the pothole with new asphalt.