Grace Jones at 60: The ultimate hot chocolate

Last month, AfterEllen.com’s Trish Bendix gave us the very good news that the new Grace Jones album was on its way. On this side of the world, the wait will be a bit longer than we’d like; the U.S. release date for Hurricane is now “sometime in 2009.”

Hurricane is Jones’ first album in 19 years and early reviews from its positive. Based on sound samples posted on The Independent site, I have to agree with the BBC: “Her Royal Graceness is back.”

The icon Grace always has been as important to Jones as the musician Grace. For Hurricane’s artwork, Jones and art director Tom Hingston wanted to communicate the idea that Jones maintains as much control over her image as she does her art.

“The original idea was to produce a set of images of Grace being mass-produced but with her being in control of the actual process,” says Hingston. “The crux of the idea is that she has ownership of her identity. We looked at a range of manufacturing processes, from car makers to pottery factories, but there was something about her being made of chocolate that had [the right] connotations.”

The chocolatiers at Thorntons chocolate factory in Derbyshire, where the photo shoot took place, suggested casting molds for each body part and actually creating life-size chocolate versions of Jones. She was all for it.

If you’ve ever been to one of those woman-power mask-making ceremonies, you know that the casting process is not for the claustrophobic. You have to sit still for 20 minutes, completely encased except for two small nostril holes, to let the mold set. Jones took it all in stride.

The resulting plastic mold was covered with chocolate, and voilà! Grace Jones chocolate heads, Grace Jones chocolate arms, Grace Jones chocolate legs. Mmm.

What happened to all that chocolate? Most of the parts used in the shoot were inedible, sprayed with chemicals to make them glossy in the photos. Those were passed out to the crew and factory reps as souvenirs. Boy, what I wouldn’t do for a Grace Jones leg lamp.

Grace herself got an edible version of her head. No word on how she liked it.

Are you looking forward to Hurricane? If you’ve heard it, give us your review. Would you eat a chocolate version of yourself?

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