Artist Turns Insect Penises Into Modern Art

You can't tell, but he's hung like a horse.
You can't tell, but he's hung like a horse.

It's official. Art truly can come from anywhere -- even sources you never thought existed.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso, an Australian artist based in Sydney, has somehow managed to create an art exhibition out of insect genitalia. The fact that insects even have penises and vaginas is thought provoking enough, but Cardoso took the liberty of dedicating thousands of hours of time to studying the anatomy of different creepy crawlies and recreating them for the sake of art.

The artist is best known for her work with her flea circus, a phenomenon that became hugely popular in the Sydney Festival 10 years ago. While breeding and training her "performers," she read about how the male flea has two penises that take up most of his abdominal area. (When you think about how tiny a flea's body is in general, this is pretty ridiculous.)

Fascinated, she decided to probe further into the world of insect copulation, and discovered a plethora of astonishing facts, which she didn't feel were documented well enough.

Cardoso decided that the topic needed to be studied in more detail, and so undertook a PhD at Sydney University, entitled "The Aesthetics of Reproductive Morphology." Impressive-sounding for something that essentially consists of fly dick photos.

This led to her create an exhibit consisting of sculptures, photographs and scans of different specimens, one of the most remarkable being that of the damsel fly penis.

Each penis has a hook-shaped attachment, the sole function of which being to scoop out the semen of previous mates. One word: gross. Cardoso pondered over the implications of this anatomical structure and came to a conclusion:

''Females are promiscuous in most species. We have this idea that the male is promiscuous and the female is chaste. It's a mistake. Monogamy is rare.''

Her exhibit, which will be housed on Cockatoo Island this June, will include a variety of her work, which she has been accumulating over the past eight years. Her sculptures are mainly resin, metal and glass and showcase the variety of bizarre shapes and forms that insect penises come in.

But let's be honest, most of them look like sex toys from the nineties. Amiright?

Wanna see some? Check 'em out here!


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