Staff at North St Standard in Bristol erected the ‘fragile masculinity’ display in the men’s toilets after a rowdy pub-goer punched a ‘phallic-shaped’ hole in the wall.
No matter how prestigious a piece of art may be, the most important thing is the emotional connection viewers can form with it.
From ancient cave paintings to abstract splatters by Jackson Pollock, art has always tried to reflect the current human condition.
And it can be found in many unexpected places – including it seems, the bogs of one Bristol bar.
After one rowdy customer punched a rather phallic-shaped hole in the men’s loos, the staff decided to commemorate his artwork, rather than cover up the vandalism.
Now it’s become a thinkpiece for punters to preview as they relieve themselves in the toilets of the North Street Standard bar in south Bristol.
Entitled Fragile Masculinity , the artwork is accompanied by a plaque where the piece is sarcastically dubbed “priceless”.
Staff discovered the unusual mark after a busy night of parties and swiftly decided to poke fun at the pub-goer’s actions.
Manager Ben Fraser said: “I think everyone has seen the funny side to it. I found it the next morning after a busy Friday night with a few groups of people celebrating birthdays.
“We believe at some point someone took it upon themselves to punch a large hole in the wall. It looks like a couple of punch marks.”
The next morning, Ben suggested they poke fun at the vandalism and bought a £5 frame from Wilko before logging onto the work computer to type out a museum-style placard.
Ben said: “I discussed it with the owner who is always up for anything like this.”
The card placed next to the framed work reads: “‘Fragile Masculinity’, Artist: Unknown, £: Priceless”, mimicking a sale at an art gallery.
The independent bar uploaded the new wall feature on their Instagram page and has already received hundreds of likes.
Ben said: “It’s been our most engaging post via Instagram yet. We’re definitely not mocking men’s mental health but hopefully the person will see how silly they were when drunk.
“I’ve worked in this industry for over 20 years and it’s not the weirdest thing I’ve seen done to a bar or pub toilet.
“It’s an ongoing battle with men’s and women’s toilets when people get drunk.
“As a joke, we’re telling people we’re only accepting serious offers for the art work.”
One Instagram user poked fun at the anonymity of artwork commenting: “Ahhh must have been done by Jackson Bollock.”
Another pub-goer complimented the artistic skill of the bar commenting: “Lemonade out of lemons.”
Other users pointed out the shape of the damage with one commenting: “The fact it looks like a d*** isn’t lost on me.”
Another bemused customer said: “And even it looks like a side profile of a c***.”
Others gave praise commenting: “This is brilliant!” and “Very well done!”