Thursday, August 20, 2009
Daniel Edwards....Bad Taste or Pithy Social Statements. You Decide...
Since I am originally from Oklahoma, a bit of Oklahoma art news caught my recent attention. I learned that a statue made by Daniel Edwards was destined for the Central Oklahoma city of Norman, home of the OU Sooners and the University of Oklahoma.
Edwards' work addresses celebrity and pop culture in ways that evoke controversy. He is most noted for his proclivity toward making statues of nekkid famous people I'll be surprised if they actually allow him to cross the state line. We'll see!
The statue in question is a nude portrayal of Angelina Jolie breastfeeding twins. (My mother is probably packing to move to another state as I type this.)
The statue, called “Landmark for Breastfeeding,” will be unveiled in Mainsite Contemporary Art next month, on September 11, 2009, before moving to London later this fall. For Edwards, the piece is meant to inspire people to accept public breastfeeding, using the naked bust of the exalted Hollywood mama-of-many to normalize the act in the minds of onlookers.
What follows is an excerpt from a documentary that was produced about the project. If you are unable to see it, please try clicking
Born in La Porte, Indiana in 1965, Edwards' works include a sculpture of the disembodied head of Ted Williams, a life-sized statue of Britney Spears giving birth while nude on her hands and knees on a bearskin rug, Opera in a sarcophagus, and a nude Presidential bust of Senator Hillary Clinton.
Another Edwards creation that has resulted in a lot of raised eyebrows is his sculpture of a tiara'd Paris Hilton, lyind dead on an autopsy table, companion chihuahua looking on.
The tableau, created by Daniel Edwards, reminds potential prom queens that no one is impervious to the pitfalls of drinking. Recalling Miss USA's recent battle to keep her crown through alcohol rehab and Princess Diana's untimely death due to drunk driving, a skewed hotel heiress's tiara serves as a grim reminder.
Edwards’ artwork has been reviewed by the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Los Angles Times, ArtInfo.com and Artnet.com amongst many other articles nationally and around the world. Often vilified for his use of celebrity, Daniel’s artwork has also been seen as prophetic and constant in its ability to humanize social issues the media and public have trouble addressing.
The artist does not limit his shocking art to American subjects. He is creating quite the stir in the UK right now, as well, as he unveils a statue of a deceased Prince Harry lying before the British flag.
The piece represents Harry's willingness to sacrifice for his country, and the sympathy for his disappointment of an unfulfilled patriotic aspiration. The memorial is dedicated to the brave at heart. But the brave men and women Prince Harry inspired to enlist for combat following his announcement to serve six months in Iraq are not forgotten.
I don't know, folks. I think Daniel Edwards might be goin' ta hell.
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