Cynthia Albritton, also known as Cynthia Plaster Caster, the legendary artist and “recovering groupie” known for the plaster casts she took of the erect penises and other body parts of many top musicians, has died after a long illness, His rep confirmed to Variety.. She was 74 years old.
His collection included Jimi Hendrix, MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, as well as female breasts from the likes of Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, Mekons’ Sally Timms, Peaches, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and much others. He later expanded his subjects to include filmmakers and other artists and eventually amassed a collection of 50 plaster phalluses.
Born Cynthia Albritton on May 24, 1947, she began her plaster casting career while living in Chicago in 1968. After meeting Frank Zappa, who found her concept art fun and creative (although he was not involved), Albritton found in him something of a patron. He moved her to Los Angeles, a gold mine for her line art, where he found several assistants willing to help her prepare subjects for her work.
In 1971, after their apartment was robbed, Zappa and Albritton decided to keep the casts for a future exhibition, entrusting them to Zappa’s business and legal partner, Herb Cohen. However, the artists refused to participate in the exhibition and she did not make any casts between 1971 and 1980. In a surreal situation, she had to go to court in 1993 to retrieve the 25 casts she had left for Cohen; she finally recovered all but three.
In 2000, Albritton finally held his first model show in New York and expanded his scope to include women’s breasts.
His career was immortalized in the 2001 documentary, “Plaster Caster,” and he was also featured in the 2005 BBC documentary “My Penis and I,” created by filmmaker Lawrence Barraclough about his anxiety over the size of his penis.
She has been praised on many rock songs, including “Plaster Caster” by Kiss, and a television conversation between her and the Frank Zappa-sponsored group the GTOs was included on their 1969 album, “Permanent Damage.”
In an intriguing career twist, in 2010, Albritton ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Chicago, naturally, on the “hard party” ticket.