Pavlensky’s painful protest was meant to coincide with Sunday’s national holiday, Police Day.
"The performance can be seen as a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society," Pavlensky said in a statement.
"As the government turns the country into one big prison, stealing from the people and using the money to grow and enrich the police apparatus and other repressive structures, society is allowing this, and forgetting its numerical advantage, is bringing the triumph of the police state closer by its inaction."
In the past, Pavlensky has sewed his lips together and wrapped himself in barbed wire outside a Russian government building in an act which he said was symbolic of "the existence of a person inside a repressive legal system.”
An hour after nailing his private parts into the ground in Russia's most famous public space, Pavlensky was taken to the hospital and given basic treatment for his injuries.
He was then brought to a police station and could be jailed for up to 15 days following a Monday court appearance in Moscow.
This is a censored video of the stunt: