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PARIS HILTON AUTOPSY SCULPTURE:
DANIEL EDWARDS STRIKES AGAIN

 

By C. Antonio Romero

NEW YORK, 2 MAY 2007—"Sculptor" Daniel Edwards ' gimmick is turning America's grotesque fascination with celebrity icons and zeitgeist hotspots into sculpture and hokey,  press releases that seem designed to feature in Google News searches about social issues as attention-grabbing (and as deeply trivial) as the celebrities themselves.

After the Britney Spears birth sculpture and the Suri Cruise Poop bronze auctioned on Ebay, Edwards has moved to the other end of the cycle of birth and death, with a figure of Paris Hilton undergoing an autopsy as a warning to underage prom-queen drinkers.

Paris Hilton Autopsy Picture

Paris Hilton Autopsy Picture, with "Tinkerbell"
Sculptor: Daniel Edwards
Capla Kesting Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

As with the Britney Spears birth sculpture prank-artwork, the Paris Hilton statue isn't half bad, for the kind of thing it is. But is gutted of any real substance by the bogus media stir Edwards provokes with the chock-full-of-symbols press release:

The tableau, created by Daniel Edwards, reminds potential prom queens 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 adorns the lifeless Paris Hilton head....


The PSA also observes the teen pregnancy crisis associated with alcohol impaired judgment. The "Hilton Autopsy" tragically reveals drunk driving's heartbreaking collateral damage.

Edwards is certainly canny (and not just because of working in the phrase "Paris Hilton head" into the body of the release— perhaps a sly reference to the Paris Hilton sex tape?). The chihuahua, for example, calls to mind Artemis (a.k.a. Diana) with a frolicking hound. He seems to be tapping into as many symbolic veins as he can: birth, life and death– and commerce, with the auction of the Suri Cruise poop on eBay, with proceeds donated to heal the sick and the crippled.

Paris Hilton Autopsy Photo: Fully Nude

What's left?  Resurrection? 

Edwards has missed one trick, though: Anna Nicole Smith  might have been a more true-to-life autopsy subject. Or, perhaps Edwards' next creation will be something more straightforwardly incarnate: reincarnation, or reanimation, with Anna Nicole as Queen of the Undead. (Smith's daughter, Dannie Lynn Hope, could of course have been a contender for the Celebrity Christ Child, if we didn't already have Suri Cruise.)

Presumably the Hilton stunt has been in the works since before Smith's unexpected demise, though, and Edwards was overtaken by events. It may not be too late for recovery, though. (In fact, if the cult of celebrity has any moral master narrative, it's that it is never too late to go into recovery. If resurrection can be achieved in three days, rehab in thirty should be straightforward even without divine intervention.)

Can it be that we have an "Anna Nicole Smith, Redeemed, Ascends into Heaven" sculpture and press release in our future? We wait, rapt, to see whether he's the smartest showman in the Brooklyn art world, or whether he's  full of shit

Daniel Edwards
Paris Hilton Autopsy
Saturday May 12th 2007
Reception for the Public: Saturday May 12, 2007 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Reception for the PRESS, May 9th at 11:00 am. Opening reception is May
11th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Capla Kesting Fine Art, 121 Roebling St.,
Brooklyn, NY. Gallery hours are 12:00 - 6:00 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. The
gallery can be reached at
http://www.caplakesting.com or 917-650-3760.

C. Antonio Romero is the Nouveau editor at Culturekiosque.com. One of his personal blogs can be found at After Cheese.

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