Joel-Peter Witkin mixed media triptych: Thoraxic Park
Joel-Peter Witkin is considered by many to be the world's leading photographer, and the rarest of all his works
are his encaustic images. A few years ago his photograph entitled The Kiss, not an encaustic brought over
$35,000 at Christies.
Thoraxic Park (2002) is a rare three-panel tryptich in the original exotic hardwood and polished frame designed
by the artist and as issued in 2002. The theme is allegorical with allusions to classical mythology, Picasso, and
Witkin's own work. An aborted embryo holding a spear, an image central to his oeuvre and his passionate Catholicism
(see The Journal of Joel-Peter Witkin), holds a central place in the first panel.
Also significant to this work is the extent Witkin went to create it through the use of the photograph, collage, painting,
and encaustic. This masterpiece is one of the rarest, largest, and most unusual works he has ever created.
Number 1/6 in the original shipping crate (only 5 realized, 4 extant), photo based mixed media with encaustic wax,
framed, 34 5/16 x 84 3/4 inches.