Oprah Winfrey is indeed a semi-divine figure, on the landscape of daytime television. She rules it like Pharoah ruled Egypt. She rises like the sun god Ra in a flame of gold over her talk show empire.
Which is why I find this sculpture by controversy-affine artist Daniel Edwards to be so fascinating:
The artist is known for being provocative in his celebrity-inspired sculptures; he’s crafted one of Britney Spears, giving birth, naked on a bear skin rug. Other targets of his attention are Prince Harry and Paris Hilton. Overall you get the idea that he’s obsessed with celebrity royalty (and royalty celebrities). He claims Oprah is the closest thing America has to a living deity, so he crafted her exaggerated sarcophagus. It sort of makes sense.
Of course the attention the sculpture of Oprah is getting hinges on how it’s supposedly insulting to her, but i actually think on that score that it works as a homage rather than insult. It’s a combination fertility-goddess image with Pharonic qualities. In that sense, as a fertility totem it suggests Oprah as a mother goddess figure which I think is fairly accurate as far as symbolism goes.