This piece was molded from actual soft drink cups and exhibited with a real cardboard fast food cup holder. The tops of the drinks, domes used to contain whipped cream, have been removed and replaced by sculpted human breasts. The piece is cast (in an edition of 4+1 artist proof) in clear plastic and the realistic color of the aureoles is the result of a chance process; an increased concentration of resin at the tip of the sculpture.
The first form of sustenance that most mammals consume is a mother’s milk. The ritual of feeding is also a bonding moment as the baby nuzzles against the soft tissue of the mother’s breast. Carbonated beverages produced by multinational companies could not be further in form and in function from this intimate act. So-called soft drinks are neither nutritious nor served through warm, personal contact with another person.
The juxtaposition of the two forms of drinking is both a surreal joke and a meditation on consumer culture. Softness, a quality associated with the tenderness, calm, and nourishment experienced by a well-fed baby, is embraced by multinational corporations to sell equally addictive nonalcoholic, sugar and aspartame-laced beverages to adults.
The work also comments on efforts to commodify the female body. By picking and choosing body parts at a plastic surgeon’s office as one picks and chooses clothing, often to emulate a celebrity icon, a patient ignores the needs and proclivities of her body as a whole. By aspiring to fit into a particular mold through invasive procedures, instead of celebrating a diversity of body shapes and sizes, women lose bodily autonomy and limit their sensory experiences to conform with commercial expectations of how they should look and how they should live.
I discuss the piece in relation to a recent show, here: