Popular street artist Banksy has competition in Manchester. Step forward “Wanksy”, the man who is using penis graffiti to shame councils into filling potholes… and it’s working. Within 48-hours of the anonymous artist’s work appearing, many of the potholes have been filled.
He told the Manchester Evening News : “The roads of Manchester are in an appalling state, especially around Bury. I have cyclist friends who have been hospitalised.
“They damage vehicles. Sometimes it’s hard to know which pothole caused the damage because there are so many. When I’ve finished in Ramsbottom, I’ll move on to the rest of Manchester.”
He added: “I wanted to attract attention to the pothole and make it memorable. Nothing seemed to do this better than a giant comedy phallus. 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. It seems to be working, judging from the Facebook fan page.”
“Wanksy” offers no apology for his actions and says he always uses paint which disappears in a week or two.
He added: “Some still remain, it’s not a 100 per cent success rate, but it works. I’m inspired by the alternative style displayed by artists such as Grayson Perry and of course by graffiti artists like Hazer and street artists especially Banksy. It has a message that people get, but also has a bit of comedy value. Hopefully mine does too.
“However, unlike these artists I want my work to be destroyed, I like it when it gets dug up and replaced with fresh tarmac.”
Still, you can’t please everyone.
“The actions of this individual are not only stupid but incredibly insulting to local residents,” a spokesperson for Bury council said.
“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.
“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.”
The spokesperson added: “We urge the perpetrator to stop defacing the roads immediately, and ask anyone who sees this sort of criminal damage being carried out to report it to the police and the council.”