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Spencer Davis - conducted by Drama En Sabah  

Spencer Davis of Booty Babe Art

April 2006

MVRemix: It seems to me that there may be some myth to the perception that men have succumbed to the idea that beauty comes in a 5'9" 120lbs package. Women tend to hang that on us men but truth be told I've never seen a man draw a picture of a skinny woman of his own free will. I dare anyone to walk into a stall in a men's washroom and find a drawing of a skinny woman. I guarantee that when a man feels the need to draw himself a naked women while he's going number "2" he's not going to hang "a" cups on her. Am I crazy here? What type of feed back are you getting on this subject?

Spencer: Hah ha! You're right; no straight man would get any pleasure drawing a flat chested, narrow hipped woman. Otherwise the drawing would look like a skinny man. That has always been my take on it anyway. Have you ever seen a hot Asian with nice hair, in a thong bikini and high heels and thought, "Yeah!", only to realize that she was a he? (Sound bite: Homer Simpson saying, "Doh!!") Well this doesn't happen to me! That's 'cause I like WOMEN with HIPS! (And Santa Monica Blvd. has taught me to be leery). It's alright to like women with really skinny bodies but the only guys I know who draw them are, well - fashion designers. I rest my case. {Insert interviewer's hysterical laughter here!!}.

The feedback I get is overwhelmingly positive. The most rewarding feedback comes from women who tell me that these (dolls) are very "validating." They are so thankful to have a doll that represents them, after growing up with a selection of waif thin dolls that didn't represent them at all.

MVRemix: You've mentioned the positive feedback that women have given you and I've received very positive feedback from women I've introduced to your site as well. So I want to discuss the other side of things a little bit. As I'm sure you're aware, society is always looking at the objectification of women in popular entertainment. Right now the hot topic is the one of the video honeys/hoes/vixens. The prevailing argument is that having women lounging around looking hot in a music video is overall a detriment to female empowerment. This is odd to me because when I see a hot woman my thoughts are generally "Wow she's good looking. I feel a little bit better than I did before I saw her.", not "Man I need to get a woman in a bikini to sit on the hood of my Ferrari. Bitch better not have anything smart to say." How can we bridge the perceived gap between objectification and admiration?

Spencer: This is a very important question. Words are powerful. You mentioned "honeys/hoes/vixens"; interestingly I originally had applied for the Trademark "Booty Vixens". I paid my $395 dollars to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and everything. It was sort of a back-handed homage to the great film maker Russ Meyer (R.I.P.) But then it occurred to me to do my homework and look up the word "vixens" in the dictionary. It basically said, "Bitch or witch"!! I was horrified! This is not what I was trying to say at all! I replaced it with "Babe," which is an endearing word that is used to describe someone young and or adored.

Beautiful women are powerful! Wars have been fought; cities have been built and destroyed over the beauty of a woman. For me, the sight of a beautiful woman can mean the difference between a bad day and a good day. But I think it is important that we realize what is behind the facade of beauty. One of the nicest compliments I ever received about my art was, "I like that your characters are not just one-dimensional sexual beings." And that is correct. I hope that they look sexy and beautiful, but they also have a story behind them, each one. That is precisely why I ask my "Real-Life Booty Babe Contestants" to list their name, where they are from AND their occupation or role. What you find is that these beauties are med students, computer technicians, as well as mothers and artists. Shoot, I love to fantasize that my wife is an exotic dancer (with the clear platform shoes and the whole bit), but after we have our fun, she's my Wife, my best friend, a pediatric registered nurse, she's bilingual, and she's better than me at math!! In a word, "respect".

MVRemix: Relax people he said "bi-LINGUAL"...savages. One of my favorite hip-hop artists, an emcee named Ras Kass introduced me to a quote from Hippocrates, "Ars longa, vita brevis". The English translation is "Art is long, life is short" As an artist what is your reaction to this saying?

Spencer: I like that a lot. I'm very aware of my mortality and think it's important to evaluate one's life from time to time. I try to make the most of every day so I won't look back and say, "What the hell did I do with my life? With my youth?" Ras Kass is right on. Life for us is brief. It has gone on hundreds of millions of years before us and I assume it will go on as long after. So what do we have to say about our minuscule lives? I would like to leave something beautiful and hopefully something positive. When I realize that my sculptures are now in Belgium, Korea, France, Australia, Brazil ... it's pretty profound to think that 3,000 of these things are now scattered all over the globe. And they will probably be around longer than I will be. I'm comfortable with that thought. I have also chosen a traditional "doll" scale. And so it's also interesting to note that every civilization before us has created dolls and these dolls serve as sort of a time-capsule-like commentary about the cultures and the humans from which they came. I don't know how Booty Babe Art represents our current culture. I will not be the judge of that. But I'm having a blast participating.

MVRemix: Wow! 3000 sculptures in the hands of collectors. That's a lot of art especially considering all your pieces are limited in numbers. What would you say is your most popular piece and why?

Spencer: It's easy to say that "Milk Chocolate" has been the most popular. She was the first limited edition style to be available with a soft (rather than sculpted) hairstyle. And everybody just loves the afro! I should point out also that this was the original vision of Booty Babe Art; Chocolate brown skin, afro hairstyle, sexy bikini, with sort of a throw-back color scheme overall. I set the earlier pieces at a very attainable price too because I had no idea how they were going to sell ...and my apartment at the time was filled to the ceiling(s) with boxes!

MVRemix: How about before we go any further I give you the opportunity to answer a question you've always wanted to answer but that no one has ever asked you?

Spencer: Um, I don't really have "a question that I have always wanted to answer." I guess something relating to my work which has been on my mind a lot lately is the issue of Copyright infringement. It never really affected me until recently. I am happy to see that my work is becoming known or recognized. But it's definitely a drag when people misuse my copyrighted artwork for there own commercial purposes. Now I'm not above surfing the net for a little 'visual stimulation.' Late some nights my computer is on fire! To be honest, this is an important part of where my inspiration comes from. But nothing prepared me for the sight of my own logo design right down the center of a 300 + lb. BBW ass crack, face-sitting a bald man, with little more than a shoelace covering this otherwise light-skinned babe's brown starfish. Gees!! You might as well have written my name in there, first, middle and last. Someone had lifted my logo design, took off my brand name, added theirs and started printing T-shirts, Booty shorts, porn DVDs and on and on... I took it very personally because "Booty Babe Art" has become a large part of my identity as a person. And these people were misrepresenting ME as a person. Well of course I had to put an end to this immediately (And what a pain in the ass it was.).

>> continued...

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"Beautiful women are powerful! Wars have been fought; cities have been built and destroyed over the beauty of a woman."