<I>Plaster Caster</I> Showcases Art From a Different Mold15 Oct, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner
When Cynthia Albritton set out to complete the assignment for her high school art class, she had no thought of becoming an icon in the art and rock music worlds.
Teacher Roland Ginzel told students in a Chicago classroom to make a cast of something that would retain its shape, and Cynthia knew just what she wanted to do.
“I did think it was going to be a one-time gimmick. I had no idea where it would lead. It was just a way to get laid by rock stars,” said the artist, who in the 30-plus years since has become known as Cynthia Plaster Caster for her castings of celebrity privates.
“We were starting to scandalize the world, but not intentionally. We were just trying to get the attention of certain, specific rock stars to get them away from other girls,” Plaster Caster said. “The media were a different arena of people that were not expected to be interested in us.”
The rest, as they say, is history -- a history Xenon Pictures captures in the documentary Plaster Caster, which streets Nov. 4 ($14.98 DVD, $39.98 VHS).
“As DVD, it's perfect. It is just the right format for this story,” she said. “It's something you want to watch with the shades drawn and the phone off the hook.”
The documentary uses interviews with Plaster Caster and her subjects to explain what has become a cultural milestone. Doubters need look no further than The Banger Sisters, which was loosely based on the Chicago Plaster Casters, to understand where they fit into rock history.
Over the years Plaster Caster has amassed tales of her encounters with rock stars from The Jimi Hendrix Experience forward, and she is still casting today. She recently expanded her subjects from penises to include female musicians' breasts.
“Since I go for the cute, cuddly, bouncy part of the body, I went for tits,” she said. “I've been long liking a lot of girl bands ... I'm making up for lost time. I'm finding the girls are much less hesitant to do it.”
Her collection includes “a number close to 60 penises and eight or nine pairs of breasts.”
Some things have changed over the years. Where she once worked with a friend acting as “plater” ( a fluffer, in ‘X'-rated parlance), she now prefers to work with the subject's partner in that role.
“I'm very shy. That's why I do this. I'm basically a shy girl who is nervous about seducing men, and I'm shy, period. I don't like to be turned down. A lot of things go through my mind before I ask somebody to cast them,” she said. “I look in their eyes. Do I see plaster in those pupils?”