Artist captured rock star privates

Advertisement


Cynthia Albritton, best known for her plaster casts of singers’ penises, has died at the age of 74. Cynthia Plaster Caster immortalized members of rock bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks and Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys.
Cynthia’s representatives confirmed her death on Thursday, April 21, 2022 and said she died in Chicago after a long illness. The news has swept the internet, saddening many of her followers and their loved ones. Tributes have flooded social media as everyone mourns her death.

Advertisement

Cynthia

Jimi Hendrix was Albritton’s first famous performer. She photographed a variety of musicians from many genres and eras, including MC5’s Dennis Thompson and Wayne Kramer, Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks, Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Peaches and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Breasts. Her work has spanned a wide spectrum of artists, including those in the film industry. Albritton was viewed by those who knew her as a strong conceptual artist and huge music fan.

Advertisement


If you happened to run into her in Chicago, she would introduce herself simply as Cynthia, call everyone “Doll” and be as endearing as she is amusing. Albritton’s friend and former manager Mitch Marlow says she wanted to keep things clean and true when it came to her art, and she was concerned about never selling out, even when she was behind on her rent. He tells Rolling Stone: She would never cast someone for an assignment just because they wanted to.

Even if she needed the money, she wouldn’t sell it to anyone she didn’t like. She began her painting career in college when her art professor commissioned a plaster cast project. On February 25, 1968, she cast the penis of her first famous musician: Jimi Hendrix. She then met Frank Zappa, who, according to a 1969 interview with Rolling Stone, was not involved in the artwork but liked the concept. At the time, Zappa said of the Plaster Casters (Albritton worked with a partner named Dianne), “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.”

Advertisement

Cynthia was transferred to Los Angeles by Frank Zappa, where she continued her career. After breaking into their apartment, the two decided to turn over two dozen casts to Zappa’s legal partner, Herb Cohen, to secure the work for a future exhibition. Albritton had to wait several years and one court appearance to get back all but three of Cohen’s paintings, which she had kept longer than she wanted.

Advertisement