NEW YORK –
AP Photo: This photograph, released by sculptor Daniel Edwards on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Britney Spears will soon be giving birth again — in Brooklyn, as a sexy sculpture that has drawn thousands of hate e-mails.
“This is a new take on pro-life. Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion. This is the image of birth,” Daniel Edwards said of his work, to be unveiled at a Brooklyn gallery in April, months after Edwards’ sculpture of Ted Williams severed head stirred up an artistic storm.
The life-size pop princess is naked and pregnant, crouching face-down on a bare-toothed bear rug as the baby’s head appears on the opposite end
On Tuesday at his studio in Moosup, Conn., Edwards was pouring a mold to cast the sculpture in resin. It’ll be transported to the Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery in Brooklyn’s artsy Williamsburg neighborhood, where Britney the artwork is to appear next to a display case filled with pro-life materials.
When some bloggers heard about the exhibit — “Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston” — the gallery was inundated with about 3,000 e-mails from around the world in just a week, split between pro-choice and pro-life opinions.
“We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter,” said gallery co-owner David Kesting. “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.”
The gallery is hiring extra security guards for the free exhibit opening April 7 and running two weeks.
The sculptor’s three children — ages 3, 6, and 8 — helped build the first clay model of the sculpted Britney, mainly the bear rug.
“At first, the kids thought it was kind of gross. Yukky. But then, they got curious,” their 40-year-old dad said in a telephone interview from his home, which is near his studio.
Compared to the hubbub around his art, Edwards’ life is peaceful. He takes care of his two boys and a girl during the day, while his wife, a microbiologist whom he married right after high school, goes to work. Then they switch childcare duties while he works on his art.
His sculpture of the pop diva comes six months after she gave birth to her first child, Sean Preston — and about a half year after Edwards displayed what he called his “shrine” to baseball great Williams, whose body was decapitated and frozen in hopes that medical science could one day revive him.
When asked why he creates art that generates publicity for him by piggybacking on subjects hyped in the media, Edwards said: “You’re bombarded with these stories. And there’s a thread that winds back to the art. That’s not a bad thing. People are interested in these topics, and it works for art as well.”
Spears’ publicist, Leslie Sloan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on Tuesday. Edwards said he never spoke to or met the star, and that he fashioned her face and figure from photographs.
“I admire her. This is an idealized figure,” he said. “Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself — seductively. Suddenly, she’s a mom.”
His aim, said the son of a mother who gave birth to him when she was 17, was to stir up debate about a difficult topic that “is greater than the issues presented by either pro-life and pro-choice advocates.”
When asked whether he’s pro-life, he said, “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.”
A Democrat, “I don’t judge anybody for the decision they make.”