Sculpture Makes It Big
Celebrity Pornstar/Singer Britney Spears has found her way into the world of art history. Artist Daniel Edwards has depicted the former singer nude in a life sized statue giving birth on her hands and knees on a bearskin rug. The sculpture is currently being shown at the Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery in Brooklyn. The free exhibit opened April 7 and ran for two weeks.
The sculpture is meant to promote "Pro-Life" and depicts Britney in the pose of a natural birth (whereas in reality her son was born with a C-section and the celebrity was heavily drugged). The name of the sculpture is "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston".
The 'art' piece has caused a political storm but Edwards is keen to explain that he purely sees Brit as a modern fertility goddess. He said: "My feeling about it was that for her to give up her career, to sacrifice that essentially to have a child that seemed like a real dedication to birth. I guess I'm just really responding to the public's general interest in her pregnancy and trying to capture the ultimate moment being the birth."
Edwards is no stranger to celebrity art controversy -- the artist also sculpted Ted Williams' decapitated head, which was frozen in hopes that science could one day revive the baseball hero. Edwards has hinted his next celebrity target may be father-to-be Tom Cruise and has warned us all to stay tuned.
In her first public comments about the sculpture pornstar Britney Spears says she is shocked by it. Normally she is the one doing the shocking. Britney says she was "dumbfounded" when she found out about the sculpture and saw the national controversy and press it generated. She also said she thought the idea was hilarious and not a serious attempt to display the beauty of birth. "I think it's the most hysterical thing I've ever seen in my life. My assistant and I were totally dumbfounded when we saw it. We couldn't believe somebody actually did this," she said. Lastly she didn't understand why she was picked for this "pro-life" art piece when she describes herself as being "pro-war". Spears was either making a joke or apparently was confused about the meaning of "pro-life".
At its unveiling, Connecticut artisan Daniel Edwards called his work an "image of birth" and says it is a "new take" on the pro-life perspective. "Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion," he said.
The exhibit, titled "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston" has already drew over 3,000 emails from people on both sides of the abortion debate both it was unveiled.
Gallery co-owner David Kesting said, "We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter." "Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument," he said.
The Manhattan Right to Life Committee provided the materials to be on display, but its president, Jeanne Head, is distancing herself from the sculpture now that she's seen the piece, saying "At best, it's in poor taste. At worst, it's offensive," she told reporters. She indicated Edwards approached her about the exhibit but only said the sculpture would depict a woman giving birth. He did not provide further details. "He did not tell me it was Britney Spears. He did not tell me it was depicting her in that strange position," Head added.
Edwards is the father of three children and his statue comes six months after Spears gave birth to Preston. He said he did not get the pop diva's permission and used photographs of her to make the sculpture. He told reporters his goal is to create debate about a topic that "is greater than the issues presented by either pro-life and pro-choice advocates." When reporters asked him if he is pro-life, he replied, "You nailed me. I'm not saying that I am. I wouldn't march with either pro-life or pro-choice advocates. This is not meant to be political."
Edwards said he is a Democrat and doesn't "judge anybody for the decision they make."
"Britney provides inspiration for those struggling with the 'right choice'," said artist Daniel Edwards. "She was number one with Google last year, with good reason: People are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman," said Edwards. Edwards asserted that he incorporates celebrity stories because "Youíre bombarded with these stories. And thereís a thread that winds back to the art. Thatís not a bad thing. People are interested in these topics, and it works for art as well."
Dan is a classically trained sculptor from New York's Graduate School of the Figurative Arts, and his notable public sculpture work includes The Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy Memorial in Indianapolis, of which groundbreaking ceremonies were performed by President Clinton and Senator Ted Kennedy. He also has works in the permanent collections of the National Art Museum of Sport in Indianapolis, the Las Vegas art museum, and the Indiana statehouse.