The Golden Phallus

Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nigerian (active in England), 1955 - 1989


1989, printed 2021

Archival chromogenic color print

3/10, printed by Bayeux Ltd., London; certified by Autograph, London

Sheet: 24 × 20 in. (61 × 50.8 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the William S. Rubin Fund

© Rotimi Fani-Kayode



Place Made: London, England, Europe


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


On view


In The Golden Phallus, Rotimi Fani-Kayode uses subtle effects of light and shadow to highlight a nude, well-muscled, dark-skinned man. His positioning emphasizes his form and gold-covered penis, but the plague mask that obscures his gaze and the white string that bisects the photograph (and lifts the penis) undercut the sexualization of the image. Made during the height of the AIDS crisis (the plague of the time), the mask and manipulated, gilded penis raise challenging questions about sexual expectations and consequences.

From the 2024 exhibition An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, curated by Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography

Course History

GEOG 11.01, Qualitative Methods, Abigail Neely, Fall 2022

Theater 10.34, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 66.25, Disability Arts & Activism, Julia Havard, Spring 2023

Exhibition History

An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 20-July 21, 2024.


Hales Gallery, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2022.

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