The Genius Woman Behind 'Running Penises'
In the midst of San Francisco's NON-STOP discussion about techies vs. artists, one woman is single-handedly (or rather, double-footedly) proving that great artists are still thriving in this city. Claire Wyckoff, the genius behind Running Drawing, uses Nike+ to doodle near-photorealistic penises (amongst other images, but yeah, mostly penises) by running specific routes around SF.
I sat down with Claire (not really, we emailed), to ask her some questions about her art and to find out what's next. Her answers will shock you! (Unless you were expecting more penises.)
I noticed that your penis drawings are evolving to include more details, with the recent addition of pubes. Do you anticipate these continuing to get more and more realistic?
I’d absolutely love to evolve them. My dream would be to run one with some veins. I should probably go ahead and tear my ear off for just thinking of it. I’d also love to do a variety — chodes, not chodes, etc. Dicks are like snowflakes you know? Unique, cold … That’s a joke. They’re warm.
Do you plot out your route before you leave, or are you "free footing" the doodles?
I usually look at a map and try and see if dicks (or other things) pop out at me. Or sometimes I’ll go in with an idea and see if I can see that image anywhere in the streets, so to speak. Either way, I draw it on the map beforehand to see if it works.
What was your first drawing, and how did you come up with the idea?
My first time … it was really special. So special. And I didn’t cry at all. I ran a Corgi, which is the best dog in the history of the world. One day I went for a run and looked at the Nike app when I was finished (it shows you a map of where you ran, after you complete a run). I kinda thought the route looked like a dog. So the next day I decided to try and make it a dog. After that my Instagram blew up. I’m talking like 60 likes. It was insane. That’s when I knew this was a thing. Then I switched to dicks.
Do you think running a vagina is possible? If not, as a woman, does it seem like the streets were designed so that one could ONLY run penises? How does that make you feel?
I think a VJ would be totally possible. In some ways it might be easier (there’s got to be a vag in Twin Peaks??). But now that you mention it, streets are very phallic which means they were obviously designed by men trying to suppress my inner Warrior Goddess. I just realized my spacebar looks like a dick so I might have to stop typing and go kiss a vagina in protest. Silent protest. But before you suggested it I never really cared. Thanks.
Do you have ideas for upcoming drawings? What do you imagine your masterpiece would be?
I’d love to run something from Star Wars. R2, perhaps? Or a penis I guess. I guess lightsabers are penisy. Win-win.