The first post from the account, titled “Where’s Richard?,” dates back to May 20, 2021, with dicks dropping every day or couple of days around the Steel City — with some exceptions that are hashtagged accordingly. The tiny dicks, no more than several centimeters in size based on background objects, range in color, from cherry red to grassy green with brown flecks to swirling purple and sky blue.
Where they came from is unclear. The Instagram account bio states, “At the start of quarantine I made hundreds of tiny dicks for no reason. Now I am releasing them into the wild.”
The tiny dicks have been left nestled in tree bark, resting on basement wall ledges and bookshelves, and sitting on lampposts, among other locations. While there are no explicit instructions on any posts, the hashtag “stellcityphallusfinders412” suggests that followers of the account — or anyone else who happens on the tiny dicks in the wild — are encouraged to take them and give them a new home.
Most of the posts include a lengthy block of hashtags, including “412dickrescue,” “peendemic,” “isthereacockonyourblock,” and “cockblocked.” The artist also included art-related hashtags to draw in others outside the dick enthusiast niche, such as “queerart,” “sculpey,” “art,” and “finsta.” Pushing back against the assumption that genitals are inherently sexual, the artist also includes the hashtag “nonerotic.”
As pieces of art, the dicks are subject to the artist’s interpretation of the body part and viewer interpretation of the miniature sculptures. While some have more defined tips, others look more smooth and cylindrical all the way to the head. They also feature a wide array of colors hopefully never before seen on a human dick, including a red, white, and blue tiny dick that dropped on a dumpster on the Fourth of July.
The dicks are also flaccid — otherwise there is something deeply wrong with the balls — which leaves some of the more colorful tiny dicks resembling vibrant snails or eels. Some look like disfigured acorns or particularly curvy bananas.
What people will do with the tiny dicks once they find them is unclear and left open to interpretation. Perhaps they will become part of a new art project. Perhaps they will sit on someone’s shelf for years as a tiny conversation piece. Perhaps the new keepers of the tiny dicks will care for them with tender duty and responsibility.
It might be tempting to search for deeper meaning in this art project, but perhaps it is wise to take a lesson from the project’s inspiration. Sometimes it hurts to go too deep. Instead, Pittsburghers can enjoy the hunt for tiny dicks while it lasts. Because size doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts.