When most women receive an unsolicited dick pic, they want to share the phallus photo with their best friends. Artist Whitney Bell, however, wants to share them with the world: Her Los Angeles-based photo exhibit, "I Didn't Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics" highlighted the daily sexual harassment women face.

"Don't get me wrong, [I] love men… and I love a good dick," Bell said to Revelist. "I just don't love the harassment."


Whitney Bell with her dick pic gallery
photo: Whitney Bell

Bell started the 200 dick pic-collection a few years ago after she received an unsolicited picture of a penis' shadow. She said the photo was "quite artistic and lovely," but it still bothered her.


dick pic gallery
photo: Whitney Bell

"I sent it to a friend who said, 'That dick is so beautiful, it should be in a museum,'" Bell said. "The project just grew from there."

Snippets of text conversations, stats on harassment, little empowerment phrases, and some quotes from men about why they send the pictures accompany the cultivated images.

Through this project, which involved 30 artists and over 40 vendors found through her Instagram, Bell wanted to understand why men feel compelled to send the explicit images to women. She said that while some men had no idea why they sent them, other men wanted to prove their authority over women.

"Many [men] simply like the thrill of forcing a woman to see their dick, it's an exertion of power just like hollering at a woman on the street," Bell explained. "Like all harassment, it's about power not about sex."

Whitney Bell, dick pic gallery, consent
photo: Whitney Bell

Even though there is obviously a comical aspect to the show, men's responses show why the show's message is much more dire.

"The show is more than just dick pics," Bell said. "Really the dicks are just used as a way to show how completely pervasive harassment is in a woman’s life."

For the exhibition, Bell wanted the gallery space to be set up like her home and ultimately emptied her house of all her furniture except a pillow-less bed and dresser. She also donated all proceeds to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

dick pic gallery
photo: Whitney Bell

"I wanted the viewer to feel as if they are in someone's private safe space, like they’ve been welcomed in, but that even in this space they are unsafe," Bell said. "That even in this warm, comfortable environment they are still bombarded by male dominance and aggression."

Calling attention to this power struggle and harassment has really been eye-opening for those who've seen the exhibit.

Bell told Revelist that most people have been either overwhelmingly positive or overwhelmingly negative about the photo collection. Many women, however, have thanked her for bringing this important subject to light; they feel empowered to combat harassment. 

photo: Whitney Bell

A good portion of men have even expressed their disgust with the frequency of unsolicited dick pics, and genuinely asked Bell and other women about how this harassment affects them.

However, there have been some ironic responses as well.

"I received dozens of dick pics, generally accompanied by aggressive misogynistic slurs," Bell said. "Sending me a dick pic and then telling me, 'I deserve it' only proves my point that these guys are in fact sending these pics to harass and to upset, not to entice."

These new dick pics will most likely make an appearance in Bell’s upcoming exhibitions, as she is planning to open the show in London, Austin, NYC, and San Francisco.

"[T]he global landscape is shifting and women are taking back control," she said. "We won't be silenced."


dick pic gallery
photo: Whitney Bell