Cynthia Plaster Caster

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Cynthia Plaster Caster
Born
Cynthia Dorothy Albritton

(1947-05-24)May 24, 1947
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedApril 21, 2022(2022-04-21) (aged 74)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Illinois Chicago
Known forSculpting

Cynthia Plaster Caster (born Cynthia Dorothy Albritton; May 24, 1947 – April 21, 2022) was an American visual artist and self-described "recovering groupie" who gained fame for creating plaster casts of famous persons' erect penises.

Albritton began her career in 1968 by casting penises of rock musicians. She later expanded her subjects to include filmmakers and other types of artists, eventually amassing a collection of 50 plaster phalluses.[1] In 2000, she added casting female artists' breasts.

Biography[edit]

Cynthia Dorothy Albritton was born in Chicago.[2][3] Shy as a young girl, Albritton sought out a way to make contact with the opposite sex. In the late 1960s, she became caught up in free love and rock music. Albritton studied at the University of Illinois Chicago.[3][4] In college, when her art teacher gave the class an assignment to "plaster cast something solid that could retain its shape", she hit upon the idea of casting erect male genitalia, which would then go flaccid and exit the mold. Finding a dental mold-making substance called alginate to be sufficient, she found her first celebrity client in Jimi Hendrix, the first of many to submit to the idea.[5]

Meeting Frank Zappa, who found the concept of "casting" both humorous and creative as an art form (though he himself had no interest in submitting to the procedure), Albritton found in him something of a patron. He moved her to Los Angeles, which she described as a veritable groupie heaven, with no lack of willing assistants eager to prepare the subjects for casting. In 1971, after her apartment was burglarized, Zappa and Albritton decided the casts should be preserved for a future exhibition, entrusting them to Zappa's legal partner, Herb Cohen, for safekeeping. The exhibition idea did not take off however due to a sudden lack of rock stars willing to participate. She made no casts between 1971 and 1980. After years of wrangling, Albritton found herself in 1993 having to go to court in order to retrieve the 25 casts Cohen held (she got all but three of them back).[6][7] In 2000, Albritton finally held her first exhibition of the casts in New York City. She also decided to begin casting women's breasts as an egalitarian move.[8]

In 2001, a film documentary, Plaster Caster, was made about her. She also contributed to the BBC Three documentary My Penis and I (2005), made by British filmmaker Lawrence Barraclough about his anxiety over his 9 cm (3+12-inch) erect penis.[9] She has inspired at least two songs: "Five Short Minutes" by Jim Croce and "Plaster Caster" by Kiss. She is also mentioned in Momus' song "The Penis Song" on his album Folktronic and the Le Tigre song "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo".[10] In 1969, Pamela Des Barres, of Frank Zappa's group The GTOs, recorded a telephone conversation with Cynthia from Chicago for the GTOs album Permanent Damage.

Albritton was a candidate for mayor of Chicago in the 2011 election on the "Hard Party" ticket.[2][11]

She is the inspiration for the character 'Juicy Lucy' in Good Girls Revolt, whom Patty interviews as a witness to the Altamont riot.[citation needed]

Albritton died from cerebrovascular disease at a care facility in Chicago on April 21, 2022, aged 74.[3][12]

List of casts[edit]

Source:[13]

Men[edit]

Women[edit]

  • 00001 Suzi Gardner (May 28, 2000), singer/guitarist - L7
  • 00002 Suzi Gardner (May 28, 2000), singer/guitarist - L7
  • 00003 Christine Doll Rod (Christine Gomoll) (August 26, 2000), drummer - Demolition Doll Rods
  • 00004 Christine Doll Rod (Christine Gomoll) (August 26, 2000), drummer - Demolition Doll Rods
  • 00005 Margaret Doll Rod (Margaret Gomoll) (August 26, 2000), singer/guitarist - Demolition Doll Rods
  • 00006 Margaret Doll Rod (Margaret Gomoll) (August 26, 2000), singer/guitarist - Demolition Doll Rods
  • 00007 Monica BouBou (January 18, 2001), singer/violinist - Bobby Conn
  • 00008 Monica BouBou (January 18, 2001), singer/violinist - Bobby Conn
  • 00009 Lætitia Sadier (January 28, 2001), singer/keyboardist - Stereolab
  • 00010 Lætitia Sadier (January 28, 2001), singer/keyboardist - Stereolab
  • 00011 Peaches (Merrill Beth Nisker) (May 9, 2001), singer
  • 00012 Peaches (Merrill Beth Nisker) (May 9, 2001), singer
  • 00013 Sally Timms (May 30, 2001), singer - The Mekons
  • 00014 Sally Timms (May 30, 2001), singer - The Mekons
  • 00023 Stephanie Barber (February 9, 2002), artist
  • 00024 Stephanie Barber (February 9, 2002), artist
  • 00027 Karen O (Karen Lee Orzolek) (May 1, 2003), singer - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • 00028 Karen O (Karen Lee Orzolek) (May 1, 2003), singer - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • 00029 Cynthia Plaster Caster (self) (May 26, 2013), artist
  • 00030 Cynthia Plaster Caster (self) (May 26, 2013), artist
  • 00031 Cynthia Plaster Caster (self) (May 26, 2013), artist
  • 00032 Cynthia Plaster Caster (self) (May 26, 2013), artist
  • 00033 Jan Terri (December 15, 2013), singer/songwriter
  • 00034 Jan Terri (December 15, 2013), singer/songwriter

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet the Groupie Who Made Plaster Casts Out of Rock Music's Most Famous Penises". November 2017.
  2. ^ a b Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia (October 31, 2010). "Cynthia Plaster Caster Runs for Chicago Mayor", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Genzlinger, Neil (April 28, 2022). "Cynthia Albritton, 74, the Michelangelo Of Immortalizing Male Rockers' Genitals". The New York Times. p. B12. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Kate (April 25, 2022). "Cynthia Plaster Caster: the artist whose rock star penis sculptures asked big questions about manhood". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Cynthia Plaster Caster: Art with Staying Power Archived November 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, a Salon interview
  6. ^ Philips, Chuck (April 13, 1993). "Plaster Caster Lawsuit Set for Court Wednesday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Amy D. Wallace; Ira Basen; Jane Farrow (2006). The book of lists: the original compendium of curious information (Canadian ed.). Toronto: Seal Books. pp. 355–356. ISBN 9780307366177.
  8. ^ Albritton, Cynthia official website The Long and the Short of It Retrieved September 20, 2008 Requires Flash
  9. ^ "Has your penis been short-changed?". Metro. October 3, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  10. ^ This Island (Media notes). Le Tigre. Universal Records. 2004.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ Costello, Brian (November 4, 2010). "Q&A with Mayoral Candidate Cynthia Plaster Caster", Chicago Reader. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  12. ^ Natawan, Grace Ann (April 21, 2022). "Cynthia Albritton, Known As Cynthia Plaster Caster, Dies At 74". Spin. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  13. ^ "home". Archived from the original on December 16, 2001.

External links[edit]