The world of Rock n Roll lost an iconic legend last week, Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ Albritton who rose to fame for moulding and casting male rockstar genitalia.
Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ (Born Cynthia Albritton) sadly passed away at the age of 74 on the 21st of April 2022, after suffering from a long-term illness.
Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ was an American visual artist and self-proclaimed ‘recovering groupie’. She rose to fame for her art of casting moulds of rockstars’ male genitalia. This talent slowly developed into work with filmmakers and a range of other artists. By the 2000s, she had even begun casting female rockstar’s breasts.
Cynthia’s death has rocked both the music and visual art worlds. Although the legend has been lost, in the wake of her death, we honour her legacy…
“People Told Me It Was Art”
In the late 1960s, the shy and mischievous Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ was attending The University of Illinois. She was assigned the task of casting a mould of a hard subject which is able to hold its shape by her art teacher.
Cynthia decided her subject would be male genitalia. She began formulating an alginate substance and practising on her male friends, but she dreamed to mould the genitalia of the Rockstars she admired. Her groupie dream became a reality when she and her friend got to mould guitarist Jimi Hendrix in 1968.
Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ talks to Salon (2000) about what sparked her interest in casting famous genitalia,
Initially it was to get laid because we were shy. And then when we finally got around to learning how to do it, it kind of backfired for me in the sex department, because I wound up being the mold mixer, and I hardly got laid as a result! First it was a shtick to get laid, and then as it progressed, I got this collector’s impulse to collect more and more. And then people told me it was art, and it is art in the school of Andy Warhol, art repetition
Source: Salon (2000) interview with Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’.
A Testament to the Legends
Cynthia was known to insert humour into her art, often referring to her collection of genitalia as her ‘Sweet Babies’. She viewed it as a testament to the Rock N Roll legends. During her casting era, Cynthia was living every groupie’s dream of getting close to rock legends and forming friendships with them. At the same time, building a reputable visual art career. In 2000, Cynthia began casting female rockstar’s breasts, and also got the chance to hold an exhibit in New York City. In her interview with Salon, she was asked why she took a long break in the 70s-80s. She explains,
It was a combination of things. The sexual revolution had died down and it wasn’t trendy to have casual sex with strangers and people were getting married, and I was working a straight job — it was hard to do this during the middle of the night.
Cynthia goes on to explain that,
The music wasn’t really thrilling me that much at the time. I wasn’t really into the hard rock, I was busy collecting Glenn Miller and Fats Waller and Bing Crosby music. But I didn’t intentionally retire. I wasn’t avoiding it, but all the right circumstances just weren’t there for several years.
Source: Salon (2000) Interview with Cynthia Plaster Caster.
Creating a Legacy
Through her art, Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’ also inspired many other artists who created their own art from her legacy. In 2001, Jessica Everleth created a documentary about Cynthia’s work called “Plaster Caster”. The film takes an intimate look into her journey to her art form, the ups and downs and Cynthia getting ready for her first exhibition.
In 1973, Jim Croce wrote a song called Five Minutes which was written as a tribute to Cynthia ‘Plaster Caster’. In 1977 Gene Simmons from Kiss wrote a song called Plaster Caster which was about Cynthia and her iconic art. Cynthia even inspired the character Juicy Lucy in Good Girls revolt (2015).
In 2010 Cynthia unsuccessfully ran to be Mayor of Chicago on the platform called Hard On Party which was about cracking down on crime, being hard on crime.
Since her death, tributes have come pouring in from Cynthia’s friends and fans around the world. Australian Musician Warren Ellis Tweeted a picture of Cynthia’s election button on his shoe,
Rest In Peace Cynthia. Wonderful woman and friend of dirty three since our Chicago concert in 95. Always at the shows always enchanting. pic.twitter.com/HnZqBM7Our
— Warren Ellis (@warrenellis13) April 22, 2022
Rest in Peace Cynthia. Wonderful woman and friend of dirty three since our Chicago concert in 95. Always at the shows always enchanting.
Mick Hutson photographer also took to Twitter to share his condolences, alongside a picture from a photo shoot he did with Cynthia casting Jack Shillingford,
Cynthia "Plaster Caster" died at the age of 74 today on April 21, 2022. She was very serious about her art of the rock star private parts. After we did the the photo session at her home in Chicago she invited me back to become part of her Rock & Roll "private collection".??? pic.twitter.com/BnprCUpl4H
— MickHutsonPhoto (@MickHutson) April 22, 2022
Cynthia “Plaster Caster” died at the age of 74 today on April 21, 2022. She was very serious about her art of the rock star private parts. After we did the photo session at her home in Chicago she invited me back to become part of her Rock&Roll “private collection”.
Rolling Stoner chimed in on Twitter to pay respects to the legend,
Cynthia Albritton, also known as the legendary Cynthia Plaster Caster — the alias that sprung from her plaster casts of famous musician and artists’ private parts, including erect penises and women’s breasts — has died at 74 after a long illness. https://t.co/8DIXZ0maEL
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 22, 2022
Cynthia Albritton, also known as the legendary Cynthia Plaster Caster– the alias that sprung from her paster casts of famous musician and artists’ private parts, including erect penises and women’s breasts– has died at 74 after a long illness.
The Rock n Roll legend, ‘Plaster Caster’, leaves a lasting impression on the world of visual arts and music. She will never be forgotten. We send our condolences to the loved ones of Cynthia. May she Rest in Peace.
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