PErró: Iceland’s First Phallic Portraitist Skip to content

PErró: Iceland’s First Phallic Portraitist

By Iceland Review

For the price of ISK 40,000 (USD 300; EUR 270) you can commission a very special portrait with performance artist Axel Valur Davíðsson Diego, who goes by the stage name PErró and has proven a popular secret guest at bachelorette parties in Iceland lately.

PErró is a reference to prominent Icelandic postmodern artist Erró that is simultaneously a homonym for the Icelandic colloquial equivalent of ‘pervy’. The fee includes an exclusive viewing of the painting process, for which the artist uses a somewhat unorthodox instrument.

“I start with a little sexy striptease and keep things a bit coy until I start painting,” PErró told Fréttablaðið. “And then I just start painting the canvas with my private and personal paintbrush”— by which he means his penis.

“This has been extremely popular. I haven’t advertised at all, but my phone number has been passed around and I’ve been getting more and more calls,” PErró stated. Bachelorette and birthday parties are the most common occasions for which the unusually crafted portraits are requested. “I have mostly performed at bachelorette parties, and some bachelor parties as well, actually.”

In keeping with the spirit of such gatherings, PErró’s performance is usually a surprise to the subject of the painting, but he is usually warmly received, by the artist’s own account. “Except once when the woman I was surprising, an employee of some human rights organization, was expecting me to be much younger than I am and got rather upset with her friends. I ended up just painting her picture with my fingers.”

In January PErró brought his talents to the international stage when he won a stripping competition in Vancouver, Canada. “It was really great to be chosen as the January Champion,” said PErró of the experience. “This is new here at home, so people perhaps don’t really know how to feel about it while the Canadians were more comfortable,” he added.

PErró’s entry into the genre of penis-painting originated with a competition between him and a female coworker at the circus Sirkus Íslands. “We decided to have a little competition between the genders at a Sirkus Íslands. She painted with her breasts, and I with my penis. Her work sold for more than mine because she’s a woman and men are more ready to spend money on this than women,” the artist explained.

Nonetheless his popularity has only grown since and PErró has high hopes for the upcoming wedding season.

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