A celebration of life for Cynthia Albritton — a Chicago woman who had a one-of-a-kind career making molds of rockstars’ private parts — will be held next month at the venue where she discovered her subjects.
The show, “Thanks, Doll: A Celebration of Cynthia Plaster Caster,” starts 7 p.m. July 7 at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Tickets go on sale noon Friday here.
There will be a lineup of bands that Albritton, a lifelong music fan known as Plaster Caster, loved — and even worked with. The Chicago artist died in April at 74.
Sally Timms and Jon Langford of The Mekons were molded by Albritton and will headline her show. In April, Langford said Albritton was a “completely unique supporter of musicians.”
“She made it clear her work was really about the music she loved and respected,” Langford said. “First and foremost, she was a music fan, and her fandom created this brilliant experimental art project.”
A portion of the proceeds from the celebration for Albritton will go to Girls Rock! Chicago, a music education program for young girls who may not have access to instruments.
Alongside The Mekons, the show will also feature Langford with The Waco Brothers, Chris Connelly, Suzi Gardner, Bobby Conn, Monica Boubou, Danny and Margaret Doll Rod, Brad Elvis and The Handcuffs and more.
Albritton achieved celebrity status for her work: She created molds of some of the world’s biggest stars, including Jimi Hendrix, Langford, Eric Burdon of the Animals, Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks and Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra.
Albritton, who was born in Chicago and graduated from South Shore High School, started her work when she was given an art assignment in college to make a cast of something, according to Pitchfork. She got her big break when Hendrix became the first celebrity to agree to let Albritton make a cast of his penis; from there, she connected with more musicians, living in Los Angeles for a time and getting support from musician Frank Zappa.
Michael Workman, a friend of Albritton, said the Hendrix art piece made Albritton a Chicago cult icon known as “the chick who casted Jimi Hendrix’s d—.”
Workman said Albritton was a ubiquitous presence at Chicago music venues, including The Hideout and Metro, always “looking for her next victims.” She was beloved by generations of Chicagoans in the city’s arts and party scene.
And for artists, it was “an honor” when Albritton would ask to make a mold of your private parts, Workman said.
“If she was interested in you as a caster, it meant you had rock star potential. She had that power,” Workman said. “There was a deep love of music encoded in her art, the sexual revolution that was part of rock ‘n’ roll,”
Albritton continued her work for decades, her molds shown in traveling exhibitions around the world. But she stayed a Chicagoan through and through, lecturing at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997 and running for mayor under The Hard Party in 2010, according to the Tribune.