If you've been playing the new game "Where in the World is Michelle Obama?" you'll be pleased to know she hasn't just been at home baking cookies. Indeed, it is even possible she's been sitting for the first bust of the proposed O-Admin, 2009.
Or perhaps our more demented artists have been mistaking eggs for chickens. In these days of artists taking leave of their senses in a manner not seen since Andy Warhol quit illustrating shoe catalogues it is difficult to know the bathos from the bathwater.
Submitted for your approval: The latest glob of bathos to hit the fan, Daniel Edwards' overheated and possibly premature hunk-o-hooey, Michelle Obama’s Makeover for America
For the salacious details of this new Nefertiti of the Windy City, we must turn to some steaming hot artsy bullshit from the Leo Kesting Gallery:
“Michelle Obama’s Makeover for America” presents an accessorized mannequin bust of Obama that foregoes the conventional pearl necklace, and provides for her a ‘signature look’ to take to Washington. “The goal is to create a look for Michelle Obama that eliminates excessive comparisons to Jackie Kennedy,” said Edwards,“like supermodel Tyra Banks’s photos in Harper’s Bazaar, or the puzzling comment from CBS’s Byron Pitts that recommended ‘less Jackee, more Jackie O.’”Star-class BS so far, don't you agree? We are especially gratified to see that Edwards' vision of Michelle foregoes "the conventional pearl necklace." Indeed, we would think it insulting to insinuate that Michelle would ever be caught wearing a pearl necklace.
We are also pleased to see that this Michelle O does not echo, in anyway "Jackie O," because the country was clearly on the verge of confusing the two. I mean, the difference between Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is more than just an extra name. No, there are other elements of MO's "signature look" that she has assembled on her long and difficult journey to perpetual pride in her country.
And Edwards the artiste, who has "studied under the tutelage of legendary fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez," (no less) is not slow to point them out in his "tour" of his magnum opus, his "David," his "The Thinker,"
A pearl-studded Afro pick, shaped like an eagle, demonstrates the makeover’s fashion mix of Black African and White House heritage to reinvigorate the traditional First Lady pearls. A tight, spiral-textured mane complements Michelle Obama’s likeness, with the pearl Afro pick placed modishly askew in a Nefertiti-esque hairstyle. Included are big hoop earrings shaped like O’s that seem to suggest, according to a gallery spokesman, “Look out Oprah, a new ‘Lady O’s’ in charge.”I am especially fond of the sub-text of the "pearl-studded Afro pick shaped like an eagle" with the implicit image of the talons of said eagle sinking into the do never to be pried loose. In like manner, the artist's breathless vision has given us the updated Afro with just a soupcon of Marge Simpson to indicate that the Obama's will never forget their humble origins. And of course, nothing says "I am in charge" more than three pounds of hoop earrings. "Look out Oprah," indeed. Dare we say as well, "Just sit down, Sister, sit down."
But these inspirations are all merely prologue to Edwards' central fixation, the rapture of the rack:
Adorning the breasts of Michelle Obama’s bust are temporary tattoos, of which an American flag is depicted, to compensate for Barack’s pin-free lapels. Additional breast tattoo designs for Mrs. Obama, by Chicago tattoo artist Alex Higgins, will also be exhibited.
"Temporary's" got nothing to do with these tattoos. These tats are hacked down about an eighth of an inch into the surface of the sculpture. The flag alone demonstrates the depth of Michelle Obama's commitment to this country and puts to shame her husband's reluctance to wear even so much as a flag lapel pin.
With this element alone, the visionary artiste Edwards leaves us in no doubt as to who he sees being the toughest of the new, improved, proposed first couple. Indeed, I tend to think that it was the gallery that introduced the idea of temporary tattoo being made slightly uncomfortable by this element and it's obvious referencing of ritual scarification. That or it comes uncomfortably close to a brand. Something else the "artiste" might wish to reconsider.
Given the many officially unmentionable aspects of this campaign it is understandable that the gallery wanted a light touch here. Still, we can't help thinking it would have been best if Edwards had left these breasts untouched.
Nevertheless, the Kesting gallery is not at all shy about boasting of the indisputable qualifications of Daniel Edwards as our new post-modern Rodin,
Edwards has been at the forefront of controversial sculpture, some of his recent pieces have depicted everything from Britney Spears nude and giving birth, Paris Hilton on an autopsy table, Oprah's sarcophagus, and even a bronzed replica of Tom and Katie Cruise's first born's feces.A first born's feces... and bronzed too! What more could you ask for when selecting a Sculptor Laureate?