Britney Spearheads New View of Rear End

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – April 13, 2006

Britney Spears

When I hear the term “doggy style,” I think Snoop Dogg. But I also think of a preferred sexual position which invites cupping or bucking so tender your lover’s hands are free to wander like spiders over soft flesh while you’re poised to push into your man’s hard thrusts.

In another sense, “doggy style” calls up the derogatory image of a porno actress on all fours with ass propped up toward ceiling mirrors, orifices stretched so wide from ritual poolside gang bangs that her privates could double as a state-of-the-art golf ball dispenser at the driving range.

Pardon the vulgarity but there’s no delicate way of stating the obvious. The image is plastered across a zillion porn DVD covers. Which is why I’m really digging the new Daniel Edwards statue of a naked and pregnant Britney Spears crouched seductively on a bearskin rug, ass angled up to the heavens with her infant boy’s head popping out.

Finally, a contemporary and digestible image of womanhood we can appreciate.

Edwards’ life-size statue, called Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston, features Britney’s lactiferous breasts and protruding navel with a posterior view that depicts widened hips for the birthing. The sculpture, which pays homage to the pop icon, is showing to April 23 at Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery in the hip New York district of Williamsburg. Road trip: no sleep till Brooklyn.

It’s getting people talking. CBC News articles point to the abortion issues it raises, while Maclean’s magazine suggested it’s a “publicity masterpiece.” ITV News online warns us Tom Cruise may be next, and the College Times writer Art Martori half-jokingly complains that Monument is taking away masturbatory fantasies from half the men in the world because her “most desirable aspect is blocked by the antithesis of casual sex.”

Martori compares Britney’s back view to an open sore which effeminates men. (Guys like Martori should buy Tim Ward’s book, Savage Breast, about men’s fear of women and the feminine principle. See Ward at the Writers Fest on Wednesday April 19 @ 7 p.m.)

And while Monument has pissed off pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike, at least they’re agreeing for once. Both groups hate it: The former are against sultry Britney as their poster woman; the latter denounce this loud celebration of pregnancy. But it’s a refreshing change from the bloody placards of anti-abortion messaging. And the statue’s seductiveness reclaims woman’s sexuality and agency. Not a bad deal at all for both sides, really.

But an April 7 article at Maclean’s online called “Read and learn, philistines” by Scott Feschuk dissects Monument to Life, saying it’s perhaps no more than “a monument to getting me on Entertainment Tonight, baby.” About Britney’s serene countenance, he writes: “A woman obviously didn’t make this statue or else the facial features would reflect the goddamn torture that is childbirth, you clueless male bastard.” Regardless of that inaccuracy, its beauty and artistic merit are undeniable.

But I like how NC Times questions the rules “where private moments can be simulated in sculpture or on a computer.” In Grade 2 art class, we moulded our handprint in plaster. But what was cute then changes now if your new crush fails to appreciate your clay mould penis collection circa 1995-2001.

Another ugly angle, which The Globe and Mail revealed, is whether the hunk of clay is even a serious artwork. Edwards is already known for his oddball celebrity works (Ted Williams Memorial Display With Death Mask From the Ben Affleck 2004 World Series Collection).

There is also the “who gives a shit” contingent that refuses to see the social or political value of a male head popping out of the birth canal of some celebrity. Personally, I think there’s value in an international sex symbol delivering a helpless male into the world.

Shotgun is all for the respectful sexualizing of motherhood. It’s necessary in a culture where the virgin/whore tension still exists. Like, I can’t handle another jackass who digs me dirty in bed but shuts me up in public. Naked and pregnant Britney embodies both extremes all at the same time and brings new meaning to the expression “sexy mother fucker.”

In the same way the documentary Super Size Me cultured a nation to dry heave at the sight or smell of Big Macs, so too can Edwards’ art rebrand a cultural icon and perhaps encourage former dissenters to share in the similarity of their baby-making abilities, rather than focusing on differences like the sexual incompetence that superstars often make us feel.

To date, we don’t know what Britney thinks about the sculpture. But since Edwards is reported to have looked to Canada’s tradition of the bearskin rug baby picture, let’s hope the bare-skinned Britney doesn’t pull a celebrity and freak out against our bear hunt now…


BELLA YOU GO SEE a high-octane combo of vampires and rockers from the crypt at Café Dekcuf, Saturday April 15, and you’ll be an extra in the new Brett Kelly film Kingdom of the Vampire. Kelly will be filming while the Bella Bombs, A Plot Against Me, and Sick, Sick, Sicks kick the shit out of your year drums. Doors at 8 p.m., $7.

– Sylvie Hill