Several people stand near four lightboxes on the floor.
A section of the lightboxes on display in the venue.
Five lightboxes with paintings are lined up against a wall.
The lightboxes lined up against the wall of the venue.
Brightly colored wax melts away from a painting.
A close up of the melting wax on one painting.

Vile Bodies


Vile Bodies was an interactive installation in the early days of the now defunt 285 Kent.

I created and painted with custom encaustic paints that would react to the changing room temperature of a sweaty music venue in the New York City summer heat. A variety of custom waxes were designed and used so that the paintings would melt gradually, with certain layers more sensitive to the rising temperatures.

Concept & History

The project was intended as a commentary on the failure of alternative spaces to provide a respectful space for traditional media. Rather than let the paintings be passively destroyed over the course of an evening of drunken visitors, the paintings destroyed themselves with increasing urgency as more people entered the space and raised the ambient temperature.

The paintings were based on social media selfies, and chosen to mirror the Passion of Christ, in an illusion to the music venue as a contemporary communal space of “worship.”

Production Details
  • 14 paintings made in encaustic on glass lightboxes
  • exhibited at 285 Kent in June 2011