A life-size sculpture of a naked Britney Spears kneeling on a bearskin rug as she gives birth will be on display next month at Brooklyn's Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery.
The sculpture is to appear next to a display case filled with anti-abortion materials. It was created by Daniel Edwards, who said he never spoke to the 24-year-old pop star or met her, and fashioned her face and figure from photographs.
"I admire her. This is an idealized figure," Edwards said Tuesday in a phone interview from his home, which is near his studio in Moosup, Conn.
"Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself — seductively. Suddenly, she's a mom."
Spears, who is married to her former backup dancer Kevin Federline, gave birth to their son, Sean Preston, last year. He is the couple's first child.
The singer's publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
When some bloggers heard about the exhibit — "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston" — the gallery said it received about 3,000 e-mails from around the world in just a week, split between anti-abortion and abortion rights opinions.
"We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter," said gallery co-owner David Kesting. "Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument."
The gallery, located in Brooklyn's artsy Williamsburg neighborhood, said it would hire extra security guards for the free exhibit, which will open April 7 and run for two weeks.
Edwards, whose sculpture of Ted Williams' decapitated head — which was frozen in the hope that medical science could one day revive the baseball great — stirred up an artistic storm, said the sculpture of Spears was a "new take on pro-life."
"Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion. This is the image of birth," he said.
When Edwards was asked why he creates art that generates publicity by selecting subjects hyped in the media, he said: "You're bombarded with these stories. And there's a thread that winds back to the art. That's not a bad thing. People are interested in these topics, and it works for art as well."
Asked whether he's anti-abortion, Edwards said, "You nailed me. I'm not saying that I am. I wouldn't march with either pro-life or pro-choice advocates. This is not meant to be political."
By Verena Dobnik