the golden goddess of daytime

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:

Oprah Pharoah

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.

5 thoughts on “the golden goddess of daytime”

  1. I have no problem with the concept; but it doesn’t look like Oprah in the face. Looks like a generic black woman. Maybe that’s why people think it’s insulting.

    Of course, I would just assume artistic incompetence rather than malice.

  2. I think the artist found a rather astute observation on the Oprah = “modern day earth mother” connection. After following the link, I feel the artist is a jackass (a talented jackass but jackass no the less). It’s a shame he’s so hell bent on being controversial.

    but that’s beside the point…

    My first reaction remains… “Why is Oprah encased in carbonite?”

  3. I suspect part of the reason people find it offensive is because of the plump thighs and the fat roll around the waist. I have no idea whether she’s put back on the weight she so proudly lost a few years ago. Even if she has, no one wants to be immortalized this way.

  4. Gothmog- thtsthe second time thats happenned. its actually in te post! masked by noscript tags. this is really worrisome.

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