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dialogue: Vajinsky

Nisan 20, 2023
Onur Keşaplı


“A specter is haunting Europe” – Belgium to be precise – this time the specter isn’t red, mostly pink
instead– the spector is the one and only Vajinsky… An anonymous artist adding, placing, creating
vulvas in everyday landscapes and leading to a sweet havoc full of pleasure. We reached out to

Vajinsky and Vajinsky answered our call for the very first “dialogue” of apart. You just can’t
orchestrate better than that; so, let’s go!

Southern Belle (2022)

Vajina, why?
For over two thousand years men have been scrawling cock and balls graffiti on any and every
surface they could find. From the walls of the Coliseum to the Great Wall of China, you’ll find that
iconic curved scribble everywhere. So I thought it was time to even up the score, if only a little. And
after noting that nature (with her trees) was already presenting me with the perfect setting, it felt
like serendipity.

Anonymous, why?
There’s a few reasons. Firstly, what I’m doing isn’t strictly legal- one person’s street artist is another’s
vandal- and I don’t fancy getting busted. Secondly, I’m a full time artist and only started the Vajinsky
thing as a side project, so I wanted to create a clear separation between myself and my alter ego.
Thirdly, I thought it would be fun to create this anonymous character, hiding in the shadows,
promoting vulva power. Everyone loves a little mystery, right?

Wonder how your vulvas were recepted; if you compare the approach of the public, the officials
and the art scene, were there any differences?

Overall, the reception has been very positive. I’m often contacted by members of the public on my
facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Vajinsky.Art), telling me they’ve discovered one of my
works while out walking or on their way to work and how it’s brought a little levity into their
everyday life. Of course, others have been less welcoming, especially those who feel that what I’m
doing is nothing less than crass vandalism. Not that it bothers me. As long as there’s a reaction of
some sort, I’m happy.

Urban Lady (2022)

Do you consider yourself an activist or a guerilla artist? Why and why not?
I don’t consider myself to be anything. I’m just someone with a paint brush, doing what I do. How
people perceive my work is up to them. There’s enough toxic partisanship in the world right now
without me adding my two cents. I’m happy if people think I’m representing women and their sexuality in a positive light, but it’s not something I’m seriously invested in. It’s as serious or as trivial
as you want it to be. A little nuance goes a long way.

Death before discretion (2023)

What and who were your inspirations; as an artist in general and for Vajinsky as a persona?In my non-Vajinsky artistic career, my influences are too numerous to mention. However, as Vajinsky
I try to disconnect from any artistic pretensions and simply create. The creative process can be so
arduous and all-consuming that you end up surrendering to your demons. Vajinsky is my release. I
don’t question or contemplate, I just do.
As an aside, what I would like to say is that many people think that I picked my nom de guerre by
taking the word Vagina and making it sound as Bansky-ish as possible. In fact it is a mash-up of the
first and last names of Vaslav Nijinsky, the celebrated Polish ballet dancer. Maybe I should have gone
for something more culturally contemporary like Vulvarine…

L’Origine du monde (1866) – Gustave Courbet

It would be fair to say that the first time the western gaze and modern art scene came face to face
with a vajina was Gustave Courbet’s “L’Origine du monde” – which was owned and commissioned
with a Turkish diplomat, Halil Bey, a.k.a. our national pride(!) – in 1866. Even though the shocking
value of vajina is not the same, it is still there and we can feel it. What do you think about this?
We’ll we witness a time where our forms finally become “normal”?

As I have already mentioned, I’m not particularly politically motivated or issue driven. However, one
thing that does fire me is the need to transform the public perception of the vulva/vagina. Thanks in
large part to religious hegemony, the vulva has always been considered taboo- some iniquitous
mystery in need of strict regulation and control, as if recognising female sexuality would release a fifth horsewoman of the apocalypse. I don’t mind how people perceive my vulvas, but they can’t
escape the fact that they are vulvas. And they don’t bite.

Town and Out (2022)

Do you have your own personal favourite amongst your pussy blossoms? I do have favourites, but in my capacity as a fledgling street artist I’ve had to learn to disassociate
myself from my works as so many of them have been removed or destroyed. When I started the
Vajinsky project I found myself avoiding the streets or parks where my works were located, so fearful
was I that they were no longer there or had been damaged. This may sound a little precious, but as a
‘regular’ artist, I wasn’t psychologically equipped to handle such events. So now I just create them
and forget about them. At least I try to.

Cracked (2023)

What about your upcoming projects? Another country, maybe? Perhaps Turkey?
I’ve been very fortunate to have been invited to partake in a number of fascinating projects. Most
recently I had two works on display at the ‘Phallus: Norm and Form’ exhibition at the Ghent
University Science Museum (GUM) which allowed me to work with new materials and in new
environments. There is also another wonderful project which I can’t talk about, but will probably
have been revealed (May 1 )by the time this text appears on your website. However, I’m very wary of
accepting invitations to participate in ‘traditional’ exhibitions as that was never the intention of the
Vajinsky project. Vajinsky is of the street, free of the art world’s stresses and expectations, focused
entirely on the freedom to do what I want to do, whenever and wherever I want to do it. And
Turkey? Well as someone fascinated by history, it’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit. Just send
me an invitation and I’ll be there.

And last but not least; any news from your arch-nemesis Cockatanski? Did he/she finally accept
defeat against the mighty and elegant Vajinsky?

Cockatanski will never accept defeat, nor even consider an armistice. He’s omnipresent, on every
street corner, just waiting for his moment to leap from the shadows and daub his hairy balls and
spunking cock wherever the opportunity arises. But if I’m being honest I’d miss him if he were gone- i
mean every superhero needs their nemesis.

Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to seeing your vajinas take over the world…
It was a pleasure. And I wish you luck with all your future plans

And here’s a little gift for you; “vajinas disguised as dried plums” Tuba Beyret;

q’s: Onur Keşaplı
a’s: Vajinsky

lead image: A Rare Bloom (2023) – Vajinksy

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