Controversial artist Daniel Edwards — whose last media fling was keyed to the frozen disembodied head of baseball great Ted Williams — has upped the ante this time, creating a rather pantingly lubricious life-sized sculpture of Britney Spears, 24, on her haunches, clutching the head of a bearskin rug, about to give birth doggy style to little Sean Preston Federline.
The Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery, in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg gallery district, will host an exhibition of the feral earth mother Britney, which it calls the “first Pro-Life monument to birth,” April 7 through April 23.
“A superstar at Britney’s young age having a child is rare in today’s celebrity culture,” said gallery co-director, Lincoln Capla. “This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision.” The dedication includes materials provided by Manhattan Right To Life Committee.
Edwards has never met Spears and modeled the figure from photographs and a wax sculpture of the pop star pole-dancing, which is perhaps why the face is so blank and expressionless. Or perhaps this is a further layer of reflexive artistic commentary implying that Britney is a blank slate, an artificial creation of image manipulation who is neither a great singer, nor dancer, nor beauty, but has somehow managed to pour herself like maple syrup over a receptive public for nearly ten years now.
Nevertheless, Edwards claims he means no harm. “I admire her. This is an idealized figure,” Edwards told AP in a phone interview. “Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself — seductively. Suddenly, she’s a mom.”
One often does lead to the other, it should be noted.
I have the sense that Britney, who has been sculpted and groomed since childhood for public consumption, has cleaved so ardently to motherhood — appalling driving habits notwithstanding — because it is an aspect of herself undeniably real and vital, linking her to an unbroken maternal chain that stretches back to the mammalian dawn.
I wonder if the sculpture will be come totemic: will childless women stand in line to rub her depicted fertile crescent? Will the top of baby Sean’s crowning head come to represent all the promise of an emerging new world (despite the iffy genes)? Or if we ignore it, will the whole mess go away?
Given Britney’s track record, I wouldn’t count on the latter.