Cynthia Albritton, self-proclaimed "recovering groupie" and 20th century’s "Plaster Caster" to the stars, passed away yesterday, leaving behind a legacy of sculpted genitalia including that of Jimi Hendrix and Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. She began her niche sculptural work in Los Angeles in the 1960s at the behest of her friend Frank Zappa, though he himself declined to sit for a “casting session.”
Her iconic nickname was a gift from Gene Simmons’ song “Plaster Caster” off KISS’s 1977 platinum album Love Gun: “The plaster’s gettin’ harder and my love is perfection/ A token of my love for her collection.” The title stuck, though the artist later admitted she had never actually worked with any of the KISS band members.
Over a period of decades, Albritton sculpted many stars in the film and music industry, focusing mainly on male privates and later, women’s breasts. Although some cast off her work as demeaning to herself, and to female-kind, Albritton argued that it was in fact a show of women empowerment, a sentiment later echoed by critic Camille Paglia, who agreed that it was in fact about “women taking control.”
At the beginning of her artistic pursuits, Albritton made every attempt to appear legitimate, hiring several assistants who were more than eager to help prep her muses, as revealed in her 2001 documentary. “I was trying to figure out a way to mold a penis so I thought, ‘Well, let’s get together a kit because that will make it even more absurd and ridiculous — and give a professional look, and create more laughs,” She said in the film, which came shortly after her first solo New York show in 2000.
The docu special included shots of 25 sculptures, with detailed looks at Hendrix's famed member, as the subject’s parts cooled off, after which Albritton was able to successfully remove the cast and complete her piece. RIP to a body pos icon.
Photo via Getty/ Scott Gries/ ImageDirect