I'm in a mutually parasitic relationship with Gilead Pharmaceuticals for the rest of my life and I don't want to be.
Meat processing table, anti-griddle, ice, artist's hair lost due to cost-related medication non-adherence 36 x 36 x 18 in. 2022
This sculpture is made of hair I lost as a side effect from stopping my HIV treatment due to insurance provider issues. Though I only ceased treatment for 4 weeks, eventually 1/4 of my hair fell out. It’s a small price to pay considering the condition is fatal without Gilead’s pills. The US government currently pays for the roughly $45,000 annual treatment (thanks to some incredible public health policymakers), however the same treatment costs just several hundred dollars elsewhere in the world due to generic drugs and more humane intellectual property law.
The chunk of ice in this image sits on an anti-griddle, typically used to freeze rolled ice cream. Over time, the top of the ice block melts, but the bottom remains frozen. Eventually, it reaches an equilibrium point. This machine requires a constant supply of energy to keep the ice solid. If unplugged, the work melts into a puddle in a few hours. This visual metaphor represents the constant personal and bureaucratic energy that goes into the lifelong public health interventions necessary for managing HIV, and the wreckage that can result from ceasing those efforts.
Copper, zinc, preserved frog legs [formaldehyde, water, ethanol, and copper powder in canning jars], homemade batteries [glass jars, copper and zinc electrodes, copper wiring, copper octanoate, and saltwater], and a mechanical frog 78 x 48 x 24 in. 2022
The story of the modern chemical battery is full of neurotic Italians and loads of dead frogs. Most notably, an experimental feud between Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta defined our earliest understandings of electricity.
Galvani believed in “animal electricity” based on an accident he allegedly witnessed with Lucia Galeazzi, his wife. A static spark jumped from the tip of a dissection scalpel to the exposed sciatic nerve of some butchered frog legs the couple was examining. At this moment, the legs kicked as if alive. Galvani, fascinated, dedicated the rest of his life to stringing frog legs together into rudimentary circuits—these creations were lovingly called “frog piles”. He even began wiring the legs to lightning rods during electrical storms to force more power through the legs for bigger kicks.
Volta was impressed, but didn’t quite believe the phenomenon was unique to living things (as Galvani claimed). Volta set out to prove Galvani wrong by constructing a “frog pile” with no frogs at all. He found that he could create a circuit of electricity by simply placing two different metals together with a saltwater electrolyte in-between. Effectively, this is how modern chemical batteries work. Volta specifically used zinc and copper to prove that electricity could be generated chemically and was not inherently tied to life.
Volta’s “voltaic pile” was then built to specifically discredit Galvani’s frog pile, however that didn’t stop the fever of electric animal experimentation in the 19th century. Carlo Matteucci invented a highly sensitive device called the frog galvanoscope that measured the presence of voltage. It was 56,000 times more sensitive than other measurers of electricity. It consisted of a frog leg placed in a glass tube with wires connecting to the exposed nerves; when electricity is present, the leg gives a small kick. While extremely sensitive, the frog galvanoscope needed frequent replacing—only working for a day or two before needing a fresh leg.
This piece is a little homage to frogs everywhere for helping us learn to power everything from toys to cars on chemical batteries. It’s entirely self-powered on 8 saltwater copper-zinc battery cells using Volta’s ultimately correct hypothesis.
She's one of the elite. She's my oilfield wife.
Texas crude oil, synthetic bridal chiffon, bioremediation archaea (microbes that eat hydrocarbons/oil), ethanol, mineral spirits, glass, acrylic, steel, and oscillating magnets 48 x 50 x 20 in 2021
Maddin Creek (deconstructed cave painting)
Drusy quartz, calf hide, alkyd paint, zinc hardware, and steel cable 94 x 68 x 16 in. 2021
I began Maddin Creek with an urge to make a deconstructed cave painting. I wanted to parody the idea of a “deconstructed salad,” but with a near timeless anthropological phenomenon. Each rock in the piece is from the Haunted Ridge mine in Washington County, Missouri. Specifically, they are drusy quartz with agate banding, having formed over 500 million years ago and absolutely littering the area. A few miles from Haunted Ridge is the Maddin Creek Site, a paleolithic rock art and petroglyph site on inaccessable private property with carvings dating back nearly a thousand years. The glyphs in this piece are co-opted from the inaccessable rocks at the Maddin Creek Site and painted onto the calf skin—a classical cave art subject—in a shade of electric yellow ochre. The rocks—usually the surface Paleolithic art is inscribed on—now mechanically pull the calf skin taught for the glyph to be painted on. [20% of all proceeds will go to Missouri’s American Indian Heritage Fund]
Pulmonary Deep Vein Thrombosis
Oil on Canvas 24 x 36 in. 2020
Coldwater Creek Effigy
Handmade radioactive clay, capillary action blood collection tubes, contaminated river water, and a vintage cakestand 12 x 12 x 12 in. 2021
In January 1947, a large amount of nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project was dumped next to Coldwater Creek in now-suburban St. Louis. Since then, more than 6,000 cases of cancer have been reported along its banks, disproportionately impacting black St. Louisans of North County.
The clay here is made directly from the radioactive dirt of the riverbank. The nuclear clay (contaminated with uranium, thorium, and plutonium) is then stuck with 6,000 capillary blood collection tubes, with each tube holding a small sample of contaminated water from different places along the river.
Scientists from WashU (my alma mater) were directly involved with the manufacturing of the uranium in the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People are still dying (both here in St. Louis and around the world) from America’s atomic legacy.
Ethyl acetate, ultramarine blue pigment, Prussian blue pigment, and fluorescent orange pigment on canvas 96 x 60 in. 2021
THE DOG IS DEAD
Kentucky bluegrass, woven metal cloth 2 x 20 ft. 2021
Bronchial Tubes Covid-19 (Autopsy)
Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 in. 2020
Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy of the Mandible
Oil on Canvas 52 x 26 in. 2020
Big Time by GX Jupitter-Larsen
Motor oil, automotive lubricant, grout, glass, spray paint, metal, gesso mix, antifreeze, and hand ground glass shards / homemade glass paint 48 x 32 in. 2021
Oil on Canvas 24 x 36 in. 2019
Portrait of 16 Year Old H.C.C. [Acid Attack Survivor Before and After Surgical Intervention]
Ethyl Alcohol on Thermal Receipt Paper 36 x 48 in. 2020
Covid-19 Gross Autopsy (Lung and Heart)
Oil on Canvas 16 x 12 in. 2020
Mixed Media. Steel, Oil and Latex Paint on Vinyl 8 x 8 x 8 ft. 2019
Plaster of Paris 26 x 14 x 16 in. 2019
Oil on Canvas 60 x 30 in. 2018
Self Portrait with Oyster Mushrooms
Oil on Canvas 28 x 66 in. 2018
Living Self Portrait #1
Various Bacteria Species on Agar (sampled from myself) 6 x 6 in. 2018