Cynthia Albritton, Known as Cynthia Plaster Caster, Dies at 74

She had been battling “a long illness”

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 29: Cynthia Plaster Caster attends the 1st Annual Guggenheim Art Awards at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on October 29, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)

Artist Cynthia Plaster Caster (born Cynthia Albritton on May 24, 1947) died on April 21, 2022 after a long illness. A release confirmed the news of her death.

The self-described “recovering groupie” and sculptor gained fame for creating plaster casts of the erect penises of famous people. By the end of her career, Albritton had sculpted a collection of 50 plaster penises from famous filmmakers, artists, and musicians.

Plaster Caster’s eclectic group of subjects began with rock musicians in 1968. Her collection included the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Wayne Kramer of MC5, and Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks. Later on, she would expand her catalog to also include plaster casts of breasts from female musicians such as Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Sally Timms of The Mekons, and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Upon meeting Frank Zappa, Albritton became his patron as he found casting erect penises to be humorous as well and would end up moving to Los Angeles to pursue this art form.

The exhibition did not take off due to the sudden lack of participation from famous musicians. No casts were made between 1971 and 1980. In 2000, Albritton finally held her first exhibit of the plaster penises in New York City. She soon began to sculpt breasts as well. The songs “Five Short Minutes” by Jim Croce and “Plaster Caster” by KISS are both inspired by and immortalize her. She is also mentioned in Momus’ song “The Penis Song” on his album Folktronic and the Le Tigre song “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo.”

In 2010, she ran for mayor of Chicago on the “Hard Party” ticket.

Grace Ann Natanawan

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