These current sculptures are inspired by Freud’s Madonna Whore Complex. “Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna). In sexual politics the view of women as either Madonnas or whores limits women’s sexual expression, offering two mutually exclusive ways to construct a sexual identity.”
The final touch was finding Ann Sexton’s poem “Buying The Whore,” which is gouged into the bodies of each sculpture.
Each bust does not have arms or legs or ears and, with each stanza, grow more silenced and constrained. The first sculpture has duct tape over her mouth. The second sculpture wears a ballgag that buckles on the back of her head, the third wears a muzzle that covers much of her face and head. And for the final stanza, the woman’s entire head is covered with only openings for sight and smell. She wears a posture collar that forces her to ‘keep her chin up.’
The busts are quite large compared to my usual scale, coming in at 20 inches tall. Their core is made from foam and plaster. The outer clay is an air dry clay called “Premier” which sands down to a gorgeous finish. So without further adieu…… here are the Madonna Whores.
“You are the roast beef I have purchased
and I stuff you with my very own onion.
You are a boat I have rented by the hour
and I steer you with my rage until you run aground.”
“You are a glass that I have paid to shatter
and I swallow the pieces down with my spit.”
“You are the grate I warm my trembling hands on,
searing the flesh until it’s nice and juicy.”
“You stink like my Mama under your bra
and I vomit into your hand like a jackpot
its cold hard quarters.”
“Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.”
— Sigmund Freud