Meme Patrol

We Talked to the Artist Behind the Viral “Boner Lamp”

If your timeline is anything like ours (gay, horny) then you’ll have seen this spectacular phallic lamp light up Twitter last week. The internet’s reactions have ranged from the intrigued to the obscene. One person commented that “This product boldly answers the question, “What if my lamp has foreskin?”, while another asked “Y’all don’t sell a circumcised version?” Of course, most of the responses were horny:

I can’t help but rejoice that we live in a world where art like this can be made, invited into our homes, and celebrated online. I am so proud to live in a world where people can purchase a wall lamp that they must masturbate to turn on! That is so incredibly creative and cool and conversation-starting to me! And to many others, apparently. 

The most entertaining tweets came from people who immediately imagined what it would be like to have the Boner Lamp in their lives: 

The artist behind this “Boner Lamp” and other horny artwork is called Monsby. He is very private and does not seem to do much press, though from the titles of his work, Monsby is certainly not low-key about the sexual connotations and provocative nature of his creations.

Upon visiting his website, which boasts handmade limited-edition artwork, I learned that his “Love in Light” lamp –which looks even more explicitly like a boner than the Boner Lamp, and was previously titled “Uncut Lamp”—is in residence at two museums, and was at Art Basel last year. 

The artist’s description for “Capitalism Hole”, a canvas on which dollar bills are folded to resemble a glory hole, references sex to explore its anti-capitalist ideas: “Capitalism is a tricky thing. Today you suck someone off for tomorrow’s benefit, but when tomorrow comes, you find your ass right in front of the same hole.” (The $250k piece is displayed online with a cheeky materials list: “Materials: plywood, US dollars, plastic frame, great concept.”)

The narrative for a Boner Lamp made with black leather and metal spikes at its base reads: “Wall Lamp inspired by medieval torch, vibe of London Punk Rock culture and erect penis, which gives light as a symbol of new life.”

And we already know that Twitter loves a sparkly c*ck ring

The way they’re photographed and displayed on his website, the “Boner Lamps” collection can easily be mistaken for a chic line of sex toys. The more of Monsby’s art I saw, the deeper fascination bloomed within me —and I certainly had all the same questions the internet wondered about. So, it was a tremendous honor to be able to chat to the mysterious, brilliant artist about his work. 

Can you tell us a bit about when you first started making these Monsby products? Did it start with phallic art, or are boners simply where you found your niche? 

Actually, I started with the Love in Light Lamp because I just simply [came up] with this idea one day. Because I have a penis and I use it every day one way or another, and my design brain makes the rest in a formula, like “What if it were done like this… and if you add this here and make it more beautiful, and so on.” 

The Boner Lamp was like a second season of this show. The third one will be about some other heroes, like in American Horror Story, you know. But we definitely do not say goodbye to the sexual and sensitive things 🙂

What are your hopes for a customer’s experience of having your lamps in their homes? Have you received any memorable reviews that made you feel like you achieved what you aimed for?

Those who got Love in Light are really happy. Most of them bought the lamps as gift for someone.

As an avid viewer of the TLC show “Sex Sent Me to the ER”, I can’t help but wonder if there have been any medical situations with your Boner Lamps. Have you heard of any? Related; one of Twitter’s big questions: Do you have “Do not insert into the body?” messaging on the packaging?

To be honest, some of the comments scare me a bit. Boner lamp has a manual inside the box with the warnings like “Do not wet the product, do not insert it into your body, only for use by human beings etc.” I have heard a lot of such wild stories, so it is better to remind that the lamp of any shape exists only to enlighten your room mostly.

“Because I have a penis and I use it every day one way or another, and my design brain makes the rest in a formula, like “What if it were done like this…”

Do you manage the social media accounts for Monsby? I’m wondering whether you’ve seen the internet’s response, and what you think of it?

Yes, I run the accounts in my free time. I react to comments as something global unconscious. Someone writes that I’m a genius, and someone calls me a f*ggot and wishes me to burn in hell. In reality, the first people are usually shy to say it in person, and the other ones are afraid to say it in my face. Therefore, a person’s comment on the Internet means about nothing. 

You just read emotions and understand whether your product is successful or not. It does not matter what emotions your product causes – anger or delight, it is important that it does not leave you indifferent.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Monsby (@monsbyofficial)

Do you already have the next product in the works, and could you give us a hint about what it might be?

Yes, it is clothes and furniture.


Clothes and furniture??!! I am beyond thrilled by the fact that I cannot even begin to imagine what that would look like! When I asked Monsby if there’s anything he’d like to expand on in the brief and intriguing “Who Is Monsby?” bio on his website, he chose to leave it up to our imagination, with a response as seductive as the idea of having a boner lamp in my lounge: “Let’s save it for later.”♦

This conversation has been edited for clarity. You can find Monsby’s art at his website, Monsby.com

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