Contemporary sculptor Daniel Edwards has done it again. The controversial artist has had his Kim Kardashian nude fertility statue unveiled on Wednesday.
The sculptor has done other controversial art pieces of celebrities including a life-sized nude of Britney Spears giving birth to her son Sean Preston in 2006 and a statue of Angelina Jolie breast feeding and “hands-on” work called Paris Hilton Autopsy.
On Wednesday Edwards revealed to the world his latest work a nude sculpture of a pregnant Kim Kardashian. The life-sized figure, entitled “L.A. Fertility. The statue portrays the 32-year-old reality star in a walking pose without arms.
Oddly enough it brings makes one think of the celebrated Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman. Baartman was the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus.
In those long ago racially ignorant days, the word Hottentot was used to describe the tribes of the Khoi people and now, of course, is considered an offensive term and the “Venus” in the title referred to the Roman goddess of love.
Visitors to the Kim Kardashian fertility statue, on view at the LAB ART Gallery in L.A., are encouraged to rub Kardashian’s enormous belly for luck.
Edwards has explained that his work was in response to the media criticism over Kardashian’s weight gain during her pregnancy with her first child.
Talking to Los Angeles Magazine Edwards said, “People tend to look at the parts, like the creases in her armpits, or how she wore a dress that makes her look like a killer whale. I’m stripping it of the details people get stuck on, so they can see the beauty.”
The other works in Edwards’ exhibit include a bronze of Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby in utero, and another pre-natal portrait of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s child.
Publicist Corey Allen said in a statement that, “We live in a media-absorbed culture where anyone can access and share a celebrity’s most intimate moments. Daniel visually captures ‘that’ intimacy.”
Intimacy can also be used to describe Edwards’s other “non-Kardashian” pieces. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were captured in a bronze sculpture that the artist entitled Justin and Selena as One.
The bronze cast feature the two “ex-lovebirds” naked except for a strategically placed fig leave and a Texas star. The sculpture, which will go on display in an adults-only store in Dallas, near Gomez’s hometown of Grand Prairie, Tex., shows the two standing side by side, joined at the hip and sharing a leg.
They are stark naked save for the maple leaf covering Canadian Bieber’s personal bits and the star of Texas covering Gomez’s nether region.
It has never been revealed if Kardashian, Bieber, Gomez, Spears or Jolie actually posed au naturale for the statues and one can imagine that, most likely, they did not. But whether it is a case of Edwards having a very active and visual imagination, or if the stars did indeed strip for the process, they can rest assured that they are being “exposed” to the world.
The statue of Angelina Jolie is particularly poignant considering her recent double mastectomy and it does cross one’s mind about how she must view that particular piece of art. One would presume that it would have mixed feeling for the woman, but also it must be a horrid reminder of what has just occurred to her in a visually shattering way.
Kim Kardashian hasn’t stated how she feels about becoming a nude fertility statue that, once unveiled, is having its stomach rubbed for good luck. It seems to me to be dancing dangerously close to those old, more racially challenged days when the phrase, “Venus Hottentot” was acceptable.
By Michael Smith