Biopik – Rotterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura


A giant yellow phallus sculpture hidden in the gardens of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. 

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Rotterdam is a city of art and architecture, filled with bold and new masterpieces on every corner. One such masterpiece is a gigantic yellow phallus made by the famous sculptor Joep van Lieshout. 

Well-known across the Netherlands, van Lieshout runs his own art studio that installs art all over the city. Unlike many of his contemporaries, van Lieshout doesn’t try to give color to the city or offset its architecture. Instead, he works mostly with themes of domestication, politics, complex functioning systems, and the re-contextualization of familiar, domestic objects. The artist also once claimed to make no distinction between “real artworks” and “just building something for someone.” 

Biopik fits well into this style, being a massive yellow phallus that is proudly displayed in the gardens of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. It symbolizes the need to reproduce, and at the same time displays little care about thoughts on its design. It just does its own thing.

When the piece was constructed in 1992, it caused much controversy. Eventually, this uproar resulted in the structure being removed from a prominent spot in the park. Since being moved, its existence has become partially forgotten. 

Know Before You Go

The Biopik is visible in the back of the park of the museum and also from the window of the east wing of the building.

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