Daniel Edwards (born 1965 in La Porte, Indiana) is an American contemporary artist whose pieces address celebrity and popular culture in ways that have often stirred controversy. The release of the pieces is generally accompanied by press releases. He includes the idea of promotion and associative fame in his own marketing of his art.
His works include a sculpture of the disembodied head of Ted Williams, a life-sized statue of Britney Spears giving birth while nude on her hands and knees on a bearskin rug, a bust of Senator Hillary Clinton, and a 25-foot (7.6 m) bust of Fidel Castro.
Edwards titled the piece "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," explaining that it symbolized Spears' decision to put childbirth ahead of her career. Britney Spears actually had a caesarean section.
"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 sex, and it works for art as well."
A number of the images shown in the media are casts of the sculpture rather than the original. Casts can be distinguished by the joins around the forearms and shins and by their paler color.
On 28 August 2006, Edwards unveiled a sculpture titled "Suri's bronzed baby poop", purported to be the actual first bowel movement of the baby of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The sculpture was to be auctioned on eBay, and Edwards was commissioned to produce a limited-edition plaster replica. Sources disagreed on whether the bronze sculpture actually contained Suri's excrement: some reported that it did, while others reported the story as being a hoax.
Edwards promoted his sculpture "Fidel Castro's Deathbed Portrait" by sending a press release announcing its unveiling in Central Park in New York City, although he did not apply for the proper permits.
Paris Hilton autopsy
This life-size sculpture of Paris Hilton depicts the heiress dead and naked with her legs spread. She is wearing a tiara and clutching a mobile phone. Her pet Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, also wearing a tiara, is featured resting its front paws on her breast. The sculpture is aimed at stopping young women from drinking and driving, a crime of which Hilton had previously been found guilty and subsequently sentenced to jail after breaking probation. The sculpture also has an open abdominal cavity with removable life-size organs and twin fetuses, which visitors to the exhibition may hold if they wear special gloves.
The publicity around this work even attempted to incorporate a Web 2.0-style participatory element, with a contest for viewers to submit their own essays about drunk driving.
Dead Prince Harry
A sculpture of Prince Harry depicting him dead, in military uniform, his head resting upon a Bible with a locket of his mother's clasped in his hands and with a vulture standing by his feet. Edwards suggests that the sculpture shows how Prince Harry "must have died the day they told him he couldn't serve" (in Iraq).
Edwards created a half-scale model depicting Oprah's Sarcophagus at Gardenfresh Gallery in Chicago at In April 2008. The golden bronze casket lid bears an unclothed full-figure rendering of the media mogul with vertical stripes. Alongside it is the artist's Oprah Burial Mask.
In 1997, Edwards spent 30 hours with former Alabama governor George C. Wallace preparing to create a wax bust of Wallace.
In 2010, Edwards released the book Blues Heads: Portraits of American Roots Music, ISBN 1-4528-9198-2, through New York publishing house AppleParrot. The book is based on Edwards's collection of Blues Heads he sculpted, face-to-face with famous blues musicians over a ten-year excursion around the country, visiting festivals, nightclubs and even at times, in their own homes. The book features musicians such as: Chuck Berry, Bobby Blue Bland, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin and Ike Turner.
On August 9, 2011, pictures surfaced of a new statue Edwards had created depicting actress/singer Selena Gomez with her boyfriend singer, Justin Bieber conjoined by the torso, nude, with only coverings on their private parts. Justin was given the Canadian maple leaf as a covering and Selena, the Texas star.
Edwards also created a "memorial" bust of Amy Winehouse.
Vacant Era Films and Festival City Films is currently in production with the Daniel Edwards and XVALA documentary titled Domestic Bliss: The Daniel Edwards/XVALA Project and set for release fall 2009. Filmmaker Dave Smith will capture the lives' of both artists and their latest collaboration, The Brangelina, to be unveiled in New York City, Los Angeles, London and Oklahoma City. Directed by Dave Smith and produced by Cory Allen.
- "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston". CaplaKesting.com. Capla Kesting Fine Art. 2006-03-22. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Sex museum displays Hillary Rodham Clinton bust". USA Today (Associated Press). 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Is pregnant Britney a pro-life symbol?". MSNBC (Associated Press). 2006-03-29. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Simmons, Christopher (2006-08-28). "Alleged Suri Cruise's Baby Poop Bronzed for Charity". Send2Press Newswire. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Artist Mocks Celebrity Obsession With Suri Cruise Stool Sculpture". Starpulse Entertainment (World Entertainment News Network). 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Simmons, Christopher (2006-10-24). "Castro's 'Last Visit' to Central Park: 'Deathbed Portrait' of Fidel as Humanitarian Goes on Display in NY". Send2Press Newswire. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Paris Hilton Autopsy' Educates New York City Teens". CaplaKesting.com. Capla Kesting Fine Art. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Lowe, Felix (2007-10-05). "RIP Prince Harry: an artistic 'memorial'". Telegraph.co.uk (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "'Dead Prince Harry' to be shown". BBC News. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Controversial Sculptor Exhibits Oprah Sarcophagus". ARTINFO. April 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- K, Michael (2009-03-20). "OctoMommy As Art". D Listed. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Schrobsdorff, Susanna (2011-02-23). "Top 10 Breast-Feeding Controversies (The Angelina Jolie Breast-Feeding Statue)". TIME. Retrieved 2011-02-23.