If you ever thought the art world was strange, it is about to get a lot stranger.
God only knows why this hasn’t been more heavily publicized, but in Brooklyn, N.Y. the Capla Kesting gallery recently displayed the newest work of Daniel Edwards, entitled ‘Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston.’
For those of you who don’t read US Weekly, Sean Preston is the son of Mrs. K-Fed, Britney Spears. Now, this may be difficult to understand, but let me take a stab at describing this powerful piece of art before you run and look it up on the Internet.
‘Monument’ depicts a nude Britney Spears as she positions herself on all fours, much in the vein of the sexual position coitus more ferarum (doggy style) on top of a bearskin rug, which she is gripping by its snarling head as her first born son’s head is crowning.
To make matters a bit odder, the piece is actually an attempt to open a dialogue about women in the workplace. Despite the piece seeming to support the pro-life side of the abortion debate (the artist made conflicting statements supporting both sides before stating that he would support neither), ‘Monument’ is apparently a celebration of Britney Spears’ decision to put her career on the backburner in order to be a mother.
It should be noted, I think, that Spears actually received a cesarean, did not have a natural birth and it was not on a bear skin rug.
There are several things about this piece that confuse me. First, why is she on all fours? Am I naive to this position as an actual method of child bearing? Or is there a sexual connection, placing Britney Spears in our minds as both mother and sex object?
Next area of confusion: the bear rug. What is the deal, Mr. Edwards? Why is Spears birthing her child on an expensive-looking bearskin rug? These questions have sent me down a dangerous path, which is thinking about assembling an entire collection of similar statues for the ultimate celebrity art show. I implore Edwards and sculptors everywhere to start working on this series. Though the connection between Spears’ motherhood and the bearskin rug is unclear, I am open to a more direct relationship between the two. Though cumbersome, I think the following title will work nicely:
‘Using the Image of Powerful Celebrities to Make an Unclear Political Statement by Depicting Them Engaging in an Act, Which, While Genuinely Unattractive, Would Be Otherwise Appropriate if Performed in Private Instead of on an Expensive Piece of Furniture.’ Here are some ideas for the collection, which I think might work:
A Monument to United States Foreign Affairs—George Clooney Receiving a Colonoscopy on an Antique Ottoman: A nude Clooney is draped on his side over a small, black leather ottoman stool, as a flexible tube inspects his large colon with a fiber-optic camera.
Clooney has proven that he can use his ever-rising star power and classic Hollywood good looks to actually make movies with substance, including two this year that have been especially critical of the United States’ administration and foreign affairs. Hence, the ottoman.
Now, why a colonoscopy? It is recommended that males over 40 receive this operation routinely as a precaution against colon and prostate cancer. As Clooney gets older his career is taking a similar precaution. He is becoming more introspective and focused, even if that means putting himself in an uncomfortable position (gaining 40 pounds for ‘Syriana’).
A Monument to Race in the Media—Oprah Winfrey Defecating on a Plasma Television:
This one’s connection between the subject’s action and the piece of furniture may be too strong. It’s definitely not a subtle approach.
Many media critics point out both the lack of minorities in the media and their negative depiction.
But Oprah not only dirties up this argument by becoming the first African-American female to become a billionaire, but she has clearly demonstrated that most of television is beneath her, as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world, race and gender notwithstanding.
A Monument to Human Rights—Peter Jackson Masturbating on a Steinway and Sons Limited Edition Collection Grand Piano:
To those who say that Peter Jackson’s loss of 50 pounds between ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘King Kong’ would affect the legitimacy of the ‘While Genuinely Unattractive’ portion of the title, I would say, ‘Nope.’ So where is the connection between this and human rights? Well, it’s a stretch, but I am going to take a stab at it.
I really liked ‘King Kong,’ but thinking back it did seem a little like three hours of Jackson pleasuring himself through movie-making. If you ever hear Jackson talk about the original ‘King Kong,’ it is borderline sexual how much he enjoys that movie. His version is so rich with special effects and never-ending intensity, I’m sure the director is spent every time he watches it.
Despite the self-indulgence, ‘King Kong’ can also be viewed as an allegory for slavery in the United States, one of the greatest human rights crimes in the history of Western civilization.
Looking to make a buck, a white male travels overseas, steals a content and dominant King Kong from his homeland and brings him back in a cage. Then the authorities get all surprised and uppity when Kong is hostile, confrontational and has a taste for white women. Kong’s toppling from the top of the Empire State Building can clearly be connected to African-American restrictions to succeed in the 20th century.
But, the Steinway? I don’t know. It sounded like an expensive piece of furniture. Those are my three suggestions. Artists, get on this one because I have a meeting with the Getty on Wednesday.