The sculpture made up of 100 Magic Wand vibrators looks like it came out of ‘Game of Thrones’
Since the toy has long sparked the creativity of its users, Vibratex – the only North American importer of Magic Wand – decided to hold a contest aptly called “Pleasure as art.” The winner, Miami-based artist Dafne Bladedesigned and crafted a sculpture comprised of over 100 disused wands that is not only beautiful, but evocative of game of thrones.
Dafne Blade sits in front of their Pleasure as Art sculpture.
The Pleasure as art contest called on the creators to create “magic” with 100 unsellable wands, as if damaged in transit or defective. Vibratex thought the challenge would exemplify customers’ broad and artistic love for the magic wand, according to its CEO Ken Herskovitz.
He and others at Vibratex were floored by the entries. “When we looked at the submissions, the varying interpretations of pleasure and intimacy made it clear that we had underestimated the power of what we had started,” he said.
The submissions proved that the wand was not just a physical product for consumers, Herskovitz continued. It was an instantly recognizable symbol of individuality that inspired passion. Other entries envisioned the wand as a life force – some as a living being, and even one as a strand of three-dimensional DNA.
Blade himself found out about the contest just five days before submissions closed, and was so enthralled that he created a concept and submitted it before the deadline.
Concept drawing of Blade’s sculpture.
Their submission stood out primarily because of how well they communicated their vision, Herskovitz explained. Although they have yet to construct the sculpture, Blade submitted sketches, pages of images that inspired them, design details, and an in-depth written narrative in which the wand was reimagined as a living being. .
Beyond the amount of work Blade sent in, it was this story that impressed the judges. Herskovitz called their concept incredible. “Despite reviewing several other powerful entries, our panel of judges agreed that Dafne was the one,” he said.
Once declared the winner, Blade set to work bringing his concept to life. Vibratex sent them 120 wands – out of the original 100 they thought they would work with – and ended up incorporating all but three of them into their sculpture.
First, they built a base out of wood and foam. Then they sculpted the foam into a throne shape and attached the beadings with screws. The last step in the arduous process was adding details, like painting in the crevices.
The creation was really a challenge, Blade told Mashable. Together with their team – their parents – they worked tirelessly through Thanksgiving and Christmas to complete it. “I ended up putting in 12-15 hours every day in December just pumping this job out,” they said.
Through it all, however, Blade kept the meaning of sculpting, fun as art, in mind to carry on. Given this symbolism, they found it important to give their all. “There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears on it,” they said.
One side of the room has a “portal” that Blade painted, containing an asexual entity made from the wand. This character not only controls his sexuality, Blade explained, but also consents to being seen by others by turning his chest — the vibrator buttons — “on.”
“Portal” side of Blade’s Pleasure as an art sculpture.
The other side, meanwhile, has a seat for people to be at the center and also in control of their own sexuality. Blade did not intend this to have game of thrones vibes, but they’re not crazy about it. “It was a happy accident,” they said. They are eager to see people’s expressions and how they interact with them.
The sculpture was Blade’s first foray into somewhat explicit art (although this piece is not entirely explicit), and they hope to continue to portray sexuality and sensuality in their work in the future.
It takes vulnerability and strength to approach these subjects in art, Blade said, especially coming out of an academic environment (they recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts). “It’s kind of like an eye opener that I can go in that direction and also ask myself, ‘Is it okay for me to be perceived that way?'” they said.
Ultimately, yes, they said. Seeing other non-binary artists of color has helped them come to terms with who they are, and that’s a direction they want to go.
“It’s… important to me to give my own voice,” they said, “and also to be able to make art from my point of view.”