Artist Crushes His Father’s Skull to Create New Work

A digital mock-up of Lee Wagstaff's upcoming projectPhoto via: Vice
A digital mock-up of Lee Wagstaff's upcoming project
Photo via: Vice

If you think contemporary art is weird already, wait until you hear about Lee Wagstaff’s new project. The British artist is planning to crush his dead father’s skull and use the resulting material to print a 3D replica of his own head, which he will then engrave with the same star pattern that is tattooed onto his own scalp.

Wagstaff told Vice that the project is an attempt to work through what he qualified as a “difficult” relationship with his father. “I didn’t see him for 15 years—until he was on his deathbed, in fact, and that was the last time I saw him. He was unconscious,” he explained.

Wagstaff says the skull was bequeathed to him a few years ago. And upon receiving it he “immediately thought about how you could replace the powders you’d use for a typical 3D print,” adding that for him, “bodily materials are the same as other art materials, like ink, or paint, or plaster.”

The artist has used other bodily by-products in previous artworks. A recent one, entitled 100 Nights of Solitude consisted of the artist ejaculating on a T-shirt a 100 times and then displaying the soiled garment in Perspex box. Another, Shroud, consisted of a self-portrait by Wagstaff, screen-printed with his own blood on a white cloth.


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