September 22, 2008

Michelle Obama's Makeover for America by Daniel Edwards

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

mobamart.jpg mobamaleft.jpg
[Click to enlarge]

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.


Would she?

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.

Michelle Obama's Makeover for America: Detail[Click to enlarge]

"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?

A man in the comments asks, "Where have we seen that hairdo before?" He suggests:

Posted by Vanderleun at September 22, 2008 8:25 AM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Actually, this looks more like a bust of a slave than that of his fem idol.

Posted by: RD at September 20, 2008 9:33 PM

Now all he needs is to commission Jill Greenberg to photograph it.

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at September 20, 2008 9:45 PM

Ahhh - this Edwards is really with the program. Highly sophisticated. Glorious proof of Obama's admonition that we stupid Americans need to master other languages. After all, one French expression for taking a dump is "couler un bronze" - casting a bronze.

Posted by: Wim de Vriend at September 20, 2008 10:44 PM

Ahhh - this Edwards is really with the program. Highly sophisticated. Glorious proof of Obama's admonition that we stupid Americans need to master other languages. After all, one French expression for taking a dump is "couler un bronze" - casting a bronze.

Posted by: Wim de Vriend at September 20, 2008 10:44 PM

Is this, perhaps, the same sculptor who did a bust of Hillary Clinton a while back? The one with a carved lace bra (?? - !), and that made her look unaccountably and frighteningly like Jimmy Carter?

Posted by: jaed at September 20, 2008 10:50 PM

This reminds me: I caught a brief glimpse of Barack out of character the other day. As he walked across a stage to greet someone he forgot who he wants everyone to think he is and I swear he walked just like a million other cocky black guys I've seen on the TV. No doubt the walk has a name but I'm Canadian.... Anyway, Obama is so cool he should be in the movies.

Posted by: sgi at September 20, 2008 11:20 PM

At first glance without any coffee this AM, my thought was "HR Giger."

Posted by: Clayton Barnett at September 21, 2008 6:12 AM

Did anybody else think "bride of Frankenstein" when seeing that hairdo? It even looks like it has the stripes in the side.

It's always amusing though, to watch 'artistes' beclown themselves so.

Posted by: Eric Blair at September 21, 2008 6:49 AM

I'll take a steaming cup of narcissism and two boxes of eloi to go, if you please. Don't forget the chop sticks!

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 21, 2008 7:42 AM

I wonder if the artist was influenced by the Rolling Stones' Down Home Girl?:

Lord I swear the perfume you wear
Was made out of turnip greens
And everytime I kiss you girl
It tastes like pork and beans
Even though you're wearin' them
Citified high heels
I can tell by your giant step
You been walkin' through the cotton fields
Oh, you're so down home girl

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at September 21, 2008 8:52 AM

Shouldn't there be 57 stars?

Posted by: TerryH at September 21, 2008 9:51 AM

I guess being able to tell the difference between feces and art is not a qualification to be an art critic nowadays, or an artist either. Feh!

Posted by: pete at September 21, 2008 10:55 AM

When will the elites quit picking on white stay-at-home mothers? Marge Simpson figures that imitation may as well be flattery. I think the 18th-century Baroque wig with the bird on top is hilarious on the Marxist Obama who holds all things from that era of slavery in contempt. And the boobs: this artist sculpts one-size-fits-all recycling his Oprah boob-mold to reproduce Michelle's the same AS IF!!! So when his third black mistress bust appears, here come the same ol' set of boobs again, and again...

Posted by: maverick muse at September 21, 2008 5:04 PM

Never in my wildest delusional moments, would I EVER confuse her with Jackie O.

Posted by: Obi's Sister at September 21, 2008 6:47 PM

The idea that anyone would ever confuse Jackie O with Michelle "man-hands" Obama is laughable.

Posted by: Blarg the Destroyer at September 21, 2008 7:03 PM

The best book on the scam of modern art and modern art criticism I ever read was Tom Wolfe's "The Painted Word".

Posted by: Yanni.Znaio at September 21, 2008 7:37 PM

Liberal. Intelligent. Decent.

Pick any two.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at September 22, 2008 10:25 AM

Good one, Bob - I think it needs to go in a post one of these days.

Posted by: Julie at September 22, 2008 10:41 AM

You can work wonders in PS CS3, and I have. The gal now sports an Islamic Flag and, of course lipstick minus the US flag.

Someone had to do it and a low-life me did do it.

I guess I have no values.

Posted by: ChiefTestPlot at September 22, 2008 11:24 AM

That Giger comment was spot-on. The resemblance is amazing, even terrifying....

Posted by: MarkJ at September 22, 2008 1:58 PM

You say: "Click to enlarge".

Do I have to? It seems to me that she thinks she's quite large already.

Posted by: azlibertarian at September 23, 2008 8:11 AM

That would be 58 stars on the Obama-for-Amerikkka flag, if you please. And that is no hair-do on MO's sculpture, that is an elephant's foreskin she is wearing.

Hubris, thy name is Obama.

Posted by: twolaneflash at September 23, 2008 2:38 PM

I don't know about the Marge Simpson comparison, but I personally like the bride of Frankenstein one.
But seriously, the very first thing I pick up when I saw this - and probably many other people knowledgeable in esoterics - is the beehive hairdo: bees are a life generating symbol in Camites mysticism, a royal symbol of dynastic pharaohs in Egypt and Europeans royalties - like Napoleon in his coronation garbs - have also used the bee symbol.
Edwards' queen bee bust is obviously loaded.

Posted by: Ian at November 20, 2009 4:34 PM