"They seemed to speak some very specific ideas of American masculinity and patriotism. I guess it's just a simple way of saying, 'Look at my big balls!'"
Images courtesy the artist / composite via YouTube
They were all around her: June Glasson noticed the Nutz immediately when she moved from from Bangkok, Thailand to Laramie, Wyoming. "I kept seeing Truck Nutz everywhere around town, hanging off the back of pick-up trucks," the painter, and co-founder of female-led art collective Wyoming Art Party, tells Creators.
The story of truck testicles is one that spans decades, has heroes, villains, espionage, and lore. That's a story for another time—or, read about it here—but by 2011, when Glasson hit the Rocky Mountain West, "they were almost as ubiquitous as the image of the B.H.A.B (Bucking Horse and Bronco) that's stamped on license plates, the University of Wyoming logo, etc.," she says.
Inspiration struck. She began researching Truck Nutz to better understand the, "curious impulse" to hang testicles from the undercarriage of a car. "Did you know that you can order them in any color of the rainbow, in metal, in glow-in-the-dark," she says. "I even found a pair that lights up?"
The Truck Nutz with an American flag color scheme, Glasson knew, were something special. She promptly began painting the faux 'nads in ink and watercolor on large, 30" x 32" paper. "This pair was the perfect ready made object," she says. "For me, it they seemed to speak some very specific ideas of American masculinity and patriotism. I guess it's just a simple way of saying, 'Look at my big balls!'"
Glasson takes this form of self-expression seriously. After studying them intensely for her paintings, she wondered what would be the female equivalent to Truck Nutz. "Imagine if the equivalent to, 'That guy has got some giant balls,' would be to say, 'She sure has some giant eggs on her!' That said, it's hard to represent a women's eggs or fallopian sac without the context of the womb. That's when I started playing around with making uteri I could hang off a the back of a car."
The result is what she calls, "Wild Wombs of the West," a series of embroidered female genitalia Glasson and the Wyoming Art Party have rallied around at political marches and community gatherings. "I just love the idea of pulling up to a traffic light and seeing gone these lovely object swaying off the back of a pick-up truck," she says.
The Truck Nutz phenomenon has been going strong in the US since the 90s, but now any empowered gals looking to hang a representation of their gender's power from the back of a 4x4, look no further than June Glasson's website.