Perhaps you, like me, noticed that the giant blue dildo that recently appeared on an episode of HBO’s Watchmen looked like an artwork—and not simply because of its unique form, what with its detachable set of shiny metal testicles and all. When I tweeted earlier this week that it looked like a Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog” sculpture, I was joking. Now, however, it seems that, to some degree, I may have been onto something.
On an HBO-produced podcast related to the series, Damon Lindelof, the show’s creator, has confirmed that the dildo—meant to simulate the penis of Doctor Manhattan, a giant, muscled blue man who lives on Mars in the HBO version of Alan Moore’s famed graphic novel—is based on artwork by Koons. Lindelof calls the object a “Jeff Koons limited dildo” while in conversation with the creator of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, who finds that he must agree with Lindelof, noting, “Yes, it is very Koonsian.”
The internet can’t get enough of the Koonsian object in question, and probably for good reason. (Minor spoilers follow for the third episode of Watchmen, which aired on Sunday.) In the episode, one of the show’s main characters, a superhero-turned-FBI-agent, finds herself pining for Doctor Manhattan, her past lover. Throughout the episode, she totes around a metal case, and only toward the end do we learn what’s inside it—the Koonsian dildo.
“The art department started sending different versions of it, and Lila [Bycock, the episode’s co-writer] at some point just said, ‘It should look like a Jeff Koons piece of art,’” Lindelof told Decider. “And I was like, ‘Alright, well, you know, this is happening.’”