CHICAGO, Ill. — On the heels of last year’s farewell tour of the King Tut exhibit starts this year’s tour of the gilded likeness of talk show queen, Oprah Winfrey. “The Oprah Burial Mask” will debut in Chicago April 24th, near Oprah’s Harpo Studios at GARDENfresh Gallery, courtesy of NYC’s Leo Kesting Gallery.
“The Oprah Burial Mask depicts for the viewer a celebration of an inner beauty for which we could all aspire,” says gallery director David Kesting of the life-sized hollowed bust. “If we each imagined an object that represented us at our most ideal for all eternity, we might hold ourselves to the highest standards, both morally and spiritually.”
“Standing before the burial mask of King Tut’s great-grandmother when it was displayed in Philadelphia, I finally understood how the creation of an object could be the act of preparing for a better place. It inspired me to create such an object,” explains the artist, whose favorite reference for his contemporary burial mask was a photo of Oprah Winfrey praying. “I tried to depict the feeling of inner peace that was so evident on Oprah’s face in that photo.”
What would Oprah say?
In a book titled “The Oprah Sarcophagus” (ISBN: 1438206429), available at Amazon.com, Edwards describes how he found himself contriving an imaginary e-mail exchange between himself, Oprah, Dr. Phil and Gayle King, in order to make sure he designed a sarcophagus of which Oprah might approve. “I don’t always write these exchanges down, sometimes I can just hear the conversations in my head.”
Edwards’s previous sculptures include a nude Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug, an interactive autopsy of Paris Hilton with removable organs, and a war dead Prince Harry clutching the cameo-locket of his late mother Princess Diana.
The Oprah Burial Mask is being offered for auction at http://www.leokesting.com/auction/ . Coffee mugs, T-shirts, and tote bags for the sarcophagus can also be purchased at the gallery’s website.
PRESS unveiling at GARDENfresh Gallery is April 24th, 11:00 AM, at 119 N. Peoria St., phone 312-235-2246. Contact David Kesting at 917-650-3760 or John Leo at 917-292-8865.