Man. Toy. exhibit ran from September 10 -15, 2009 at the Body Archive Gallery in New York City.
The dildo and what it is used for is thought of as taboo. It conjures thoughts of sex, masturbation or porn stars. In Man. Toy., the dildo is captured in non-sexual situations—it becomes art as well as a representation of man. Where you’d expect to find man, you can find a dildo. You never know where you’ll find one and how ‘normal’ such placement can be.
I stuck the dildo to different surfaces and snapped photos with my camera phone. The locations chosen are usually populated but I maintain the dildo as the only “character” in the images. The photos at night represent a “darker” character, or the seedy underbelly of NYC. In other images, “he” is just a fixture in the environment. The photographs included in this installment were shot in SoHo, Chinatown and Prospect Park, at the Waldorf Astoria and Trump Towers and on rooftops and the Manhattan Bridge.
I refer to this series as an expression of true still life. The dildo is inanimate however he does take on a life of his own. The design and placement lends life to the dildo. I used two designs of dildo—one realistic, resulting in a sense of eerie familiarity and the other is more “pretty”—but three dildos in total. The original dildo who inspired this project took a plunge into the East River on August 7, 2009.
The perspective of many of the photos draws the viewer in or makes the dildo larger than life. I made the dildo subject of our voyeuristic tendencies and in other images, he is watching us. Man. Toy.—it represents Man, yet it is also a toy, so play.
Man. Toy. by Abigail Ekue Photography
"Faucet" from Man. Toy. by Abigail Ekue Photography