EDITOR’S NOTE: When we heard the news that Paris is ‘dead’ and the autopsy is open to the public, we put our best Girl Friday on the first Chinatown bus up to New York to get the 411. Phawker Assistant Editor (and newly minted Temple University graduate!) Eva Liao just got back from Williamsburg where she shot the ‘corpse’ and did a video interview with the artist, Daniel Edwards, and got the lowdown on how the Paris Hilton Autopsy is intended to serve as a cautionary tale for young girls that emulate the fun-loving heiress. Sure, that bus ticket set us back $20, but if this sculpture saves even one stuck-up, spoiled-rotten cell-phone addicted airhead prom queen from dying in a fiery car wreck on the way home from Margaritaville — well, then it was all worth it.
EVA SAYS: Friday is typically Have Lunch With A Famous And Controversial Sculptor Day at Phawker (some do Casual Friday, we do this), and this past Friday I lunched with sculptor Daniel Edwards. While you may not know his name, you most certainly know his art. When I told my roommate that he was the one responsible for depicting a pregnant Britney on all fours, she begged me to take her with me to New York to catch the opening of Paris’ post-mortem.
I wasn‘t really expecting to have lunch with the infamous sculptor — creator of stone-cold controversies known the world over — but of course when he expressed a need for food, I rolled with it. We opted for pizza in a small Italian restaurant where he ordered a plain cheese and I a bottle of Moretti. He had on jeans and a t-shirt, speaking with the sort of wise tranquility you’d expect of a man with a beard so dark and thick. Never once did he speak with his mouth full or open, which was enough to impress me. For my part, it was a struggle just to keep my hands from shaking. But Daniel’s friendly and laid back persona was contagious and he quickly helped to get the ball rolling.
Yes, it’s true he hates painters and gladly promotes the ongoing feud between the two mediums. No, he has never been sued, nor does he ever expect to be. Yes, he draws influence from Andy Warhol as well as old horror flicks and comic books. He assured me of the fact that his recent topics of choice — Britney, Hilary and now Paris — have all been women is purely coincidental. He’d love to bring Paris to Philly if only he could find an interested gallery. He talked about his children and the media-free life — no TV, no Internet, no glossy magazines — he leads back home in Connecticut. He’s claims he’s never read a word of thousands and thousands that’ve been written about his work. Afterwards, I met his two sons, one of whom wore a Beatles shirt and the other a classic Ramones tee.
Before the doors of Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery (a garage, really) were opened to the public, Edwards climbed into the back seat of his unassuming beige family van to change into his Meet The Public duds — and immaculate white suit, like John Lennon on the cover of Abbey Road, which made him look almost saintly amidst the grisly tableaux. All gallery visitors were invited to throw on a pair of gloves and remove Paris’ intestines, beneath which you will find two tiny fetuses. One woman, apparently an important art scene figure, brought her son. Chocolate-skinned and dressed in a Nestle Quick t-shirt, the boy held the notorious N-word-spouting heiress’ innards proudly aloft. Now that’s hot!
[CLICK FOR SLIDESHOW] WARNING: If you find an accurate depiction of human anatomy to be shocking, disgusting or somehow obscene, parental discretion is advised.
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[Photos by EVA LIAO]