Archive for May 10, 2007

Daniel Edwards has done it again, although the sculpture sounds more exciting than it is in reality … but I like the idea. Edwards features a naked, provocatively posed Paris Hilton undergoing an autopsy. He promotes it as a warning message about underage drinking, with the sprawled-out Hilton clutching a cocktail glass in one hand and a cell phone in the other as her distressed dog, Tinkerbell, jumps across her bare chest. She and the animal wear matching tiaras; removable ‘innards’ are exhibited on a display stand placed in a sexually suggestive manner near the body. Mourning around this time of the year the loss of a couple of his friends in high school because of drinking and driving, Edwards says he uses currently jail-bound Hilton “as a vehicle for a public-service announcement, to educate teens.” Good on him! )

Edwards is no stranger to mainstream controversy. In August 2006 he flaunted a busty Hillary Clinton sculpture (as the first female US president) at Manhattan’s Museum of Sex after reading statements by actress Sharon Stone in Hollywood Life magazine in March. Asked about challenges Clinton might face if she attempted a presidential run, Stone proclaimed it “too soon” for Clinton to attempt a run for the U.S. presidency. “A woman should be past her sexuality when she runs. Hillary still has sexual power and I don’t think people will accept that. It’s too threatening,” Stone said. Edwards on the other hand wanted to contribute to a debate about gender, politics and sexuality by conveying the message that a female president is also a sexual being and that a woman need not squelch her sexuality in order to be a leader of a nation. I guess, generally that’s true; I haven’t seen too many female heads of state though that struck me as being very sexual, including Clinton. But then, I wouldn’t have thought that about her hubbie either ;).

Another of his earlier works was that of a naked Britney Spears giving birth – apparently created as a pro-life statement. It caused a storm not so much as a result of its political intention but because people, probably Britney Spears fans, didn’t like her being exploited as an ‘object’ – which poses the question in my mind: why don’t the same people ask the question whether she is exploiting them through her ‘art’?

Daniel Edwards also courted debate with his late baseball great Ted Williams’ sculpture in form of a severed head. Williams actually was decapitated in Arizona after his death in 2002 with his head being placed in cryogenic suspension at Scottsdale’s Alcor Life Extension Foundation in the hope that medical science might revive him in the future; the rest of Williams’ body is stored in a separate tank. Edwards called the whole process “atrocious”. I wonder how Williams will feel if he does come back … ;)

To get quite a different view of the sculpture, click on this video link – thanks buddy!