There are many takes on the healing power of art, but a new initiative at Lima’s Museo Larco is taking things past second base. The Museo Larco’s permanent collection holds a vast array of pre-Columbian Andean art, and recently the Peruvian arm of an international cancer prevention group, League Against Cancer, has been using ancient erotic statuary to encourage men to check themselves for signs of prostate and testicular cancer.
Not to put too fine a point on it, last month’s event was called “Touch the Genitals of the Mochicas,” and men in attendance were prompted to explore the business of several clay sculpture replicas to learn how to perform a cancer self-test on their testicles and penis.
“Timely detection of cancer of the external genitalia in men, both of the penis and testicles, is very low,” nurse Giselle Grillo from the League Against Cancer told Reuters. “Many do not know how to explore their genitals, what palpation is. With this we give an early diagnosis.”
According to data from the organization, roughly 10,000 cases of prostate, penis, and testicular cancer were diagnosed in Peru in 2021, with a tragic 45% only detected in advanced stages that offered slim chances of being cured.
The programming fits hand-in-glove with Museo Larco, which has an entire erotic art gallery that features ancient Peruvian ceramics called huacos, some of which display genitalia or appear engaged in various forms of sexual congress. The Moche civilization (also known as the Mochica culture or the Early, Pre- or Proto-Chimú) flourished in northern Peru from about 100 to 700 CE. According to the Museo Larco, Mochica pottery makers achieved a high degree of artistic development and produced naturalistic sculptures presenting scenes on the surfaces of their pottery using the so-called “fine line” technique. Many examples of Mochica pottery and assorted huacos are preserved in the museum’s collection.
“The aim is to bring closer the knowledge of our ancestors about the human body, expressed through these ceramic vessels that we call the Erotic Huacos,” said Museo Larco Director Ulla Holmquist. We always think about the power of art to touch our hearts and minds, but as League Against Cancer proves, there may be huge benefits to it touching other parts as well!
Saudi Arabia Announces $1M “Freedom of Expression” Art Award
Kanye West, Roman Polanski, and Carl Andre are among the shortlisted artists.
British Museum Offers Greece “Exclusive NFT” of the Parthenon Marbles
“With the power of blockchain technology, there will be no question who the real owner is,” said a British Museum spokesperson.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
MoMA to Co-Curate Exhibition With NYPD
Arrest Me, Daddy hopes to cast a more positive light on the work of law enforcement officers.
Repatriation-Inspired Fragrance Line Hopes to Heal Collector Wounds
The exotic scents of the Rapatriement line offer solace and joy to dismayed collectors who were forced to return looted artifacts.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Mediocre Painting Thought AI-Generated Revealed as Work of Real Artist
Visitors who spoke to Hyperallergic said they were “horrified” to learn that a human could come up with such a banal and poorly executed artwork.
Prince Harry to Star in New Van Gogh Biopic
The estranged prince said he took the role to raise awareness of mental health issues.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Newly Discovered Trove of Vermeer Works Reveals He Painted Mainly Dogs
A cache of 243 paintings found in an English castle, all depicting canine subjects, suggests Vermeer’s true aspiration was to become a dog portraitist.
Vatican Partners With Balenciaga on “Spiritual” Menswear Line
A spokesperson for the church cited “shared values” with the fashion brand.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Iran Issues Fatwa Against AI
A reinterpretation of the Quran through a queer lens, written by an AI chatbot, is said to cause the move.
Met Gala Announces 2023 “Looting and Plunder” Theme
Select A-list guests will be invited to wear any artifacts from the museum’s collection that have not yet been seized by the Manhattan DA’s office.