Oh to be an ape in repose, gigantic balls propped on the ground between your legs for the world to see. You have not a care in the world — you live in a zoo with no responsibilities, no concept of work or money, not even any sense of nudity or decency requiring you to put your balls away. Someone snaps your photo, and you don’t even know what that means. All you know is relaxation and eating bananas.
For many people, this is a moment worth capturing in an NFT. After all, NFTs are dumb. If you’re going to be an NFT owner, you might as well lean into that. Go ahead and purchase an NFT that commemorates the truly special, fleeting-yet-eternal moment of an ape with absolutely gargantuan testicles just enjoying his scenery.
Such appears to be the thinking of sculptor Denis Defrancesco, a French artist known in part for his series called “King Kong Balls.” The series is a collection of statues of various sizes and colors of a now-famous image of an ape straight-up chilling at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in the U.K., balls out. The photo, for which the photographer and origin date is unknown, became a meme because of, well, the balls, obviously. In 2019, Defrancesco unveiled a 6,150-pound sculpture of said ape on a street in Prague, painted blue with shiny gold for the balls.
Since then, Defrancesco has sold numerous miniature versions, ranging from desktop size for $770 to actual-ape sized for $69,900 (nice). More recently, he began selling NFTs of the ape and his testes, most of which go for around $163. This week, he announced a new batch of both physical versions and NFTs featuring King Kong Balls. “Beautiful,” one person commented on his Instagram announcement. “KING KONG BALLS,” said another.
It’s not exactly high-brow stuff, but per Defrancesco’s artist statement for the original statue, the ape is intended to represent “a certain idea of freedom cast in bronze.”
“Those who will see nothing but its attributes will have seen nothing, understood nothing,” he wrote in 2019. “The taunt of Kong to set the art-fair ‘cheetahs’ tongues wagging, for all the masturbatory bonobos to cop complexes… His balls out in the open like coconuts thrown in the faces of conformism.” In other words, it seems, Kong is intended to be a simple “fuck you” to the art world, but one that asks you to question who you’d be and what you’d do if you had Kong’s calm sense of defiant freedom, too.
“His gaze is elsewhere,” DeFransceso continued. “Far from this brash theater, this crass comedy… With no cage and no master… Freedom at the foot of My Tree… A laugh that we cannot hear… His balls like gongs to summon the Great Awakening.”
Undoubtedly, no one is giving such philosophical treatment to the potentially alt-right Bored Ape NFTs selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unlike our Kong, those NFTs represent nothing but the brash theater of humanity, the urge to define oneself and status by a literally non-fungible, non-physical object for status. Kong doesn’t need these fake little tokens of clout. He’s got his massive balls right there to speak for themselves.