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Bill Cosby Nude Protest Statue Proposed by Teenage Sculpture Prodigy

We talked to Rodman Daniel Edwards, the 15-year-old sculptor behind 'Fat Albert Cries for Dr. Huxtable.'
February 6, 2015, 5:30pm
Edwards' 3D models of Fat Albert and Bill Cosby. Images courtesy the artist & Cory Allen Contemporary Art

Just yesterday, a Florida gallery and PR firm with the dubious name CACA unveiled details about a proposal to replace the Dr. Cliff Huxtable monument outside the TV Hall of Fame with a bronze nude statue in the likeness of Bill Cosby c. 2015, with Fat Albert, crying, arms outstretched, in place of his genitals. Then, we found out the sculptor behind the piece is actually a teenage prodigy.

Rodman Daniel Edwards is a 15-year-old from Moosup, Connecticut. In his free time, he enjoys playing baseball and the saxophone, and making hyperrealistic sculptures. The son of artist Daniel Edwards, whose life-size sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug garnered a response from Britney herself, Rodman's been working in sculpture since he was eight-years-old. Although he started off making skulls and Halloween masks, his repertoire has since expanded to TV characters and pop culture icons, a growing practice which eventually led to the creation of Fat Albert Cries for Dr. Huxtable. 

"I wanted to deal with this particular current event, because I was a big fan of Fat Albert when I was very young. I felt I needed to speak up, and show what I think of this through my art," Edwards told The Creators Project. "I actually asked my father if he already had plans for a Bill Cosby sculpture. When he said no, I asked if I could work on this idea I had, and he was very encouraging about it. He was happy with the results I came out with."

Those results offer biting commentary on the ongoing situation: to be crafted out of bronze like the existing Cosby statue at the TV Hall of Fame, the current 3D model, which took "about a month and a half to finish," is a strikingly sad vision of the disgraced icon. Says Edwards, it's an attempt to "get him as accurate as possible to what everyone is thinking about him currently, as most people are beginning to turn against him."

"I think that the TV Hall of Fame should most definitely replace their sculpture with this one," Edwards offers. "I think that the real Bill Cosby should be on display, rather then the kind-looking Dr. Cliff Huxtable with a warm smile that people can see today. I want people to relate to my thoughts. And I think that by removing the current one, and replacing it with my interpretation, people can forget the old Bill Cosby, and remember him as the person he actually is."

The current high school student says that his friends are supportive of his practice, often asking him to to draw or sculpt things on their behalf. He believes his age is an advantage, stating "it helps that I can learn things that most people don't at my age, and I can know these things better as an adult." In the future, he plans on attending college for art, although he isn't sure where yet. Whether or not Fat Albert Cries for Dr. Huxtable will be included in his applications, however, is anyone's guess.


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