Zefrey Throwell paints with a mixture of acrylics, methamphetamines and his father's ashes. Yes, you read that correctly.
The US-based provocateur is now showing his second series of works formed from this most morbid of media, entitled "Panic in the Chalk Cave," which is slang for the descent into drug addiction.
The series honors the memory of Throwell's father, who died of a meth overdose at 59 years old, by revisiting the phases of his father's life from childhood until death. The granular grayish pigment blends into the canvas like a fading memory, creating the illusion of a discarded black-and-white photograph.
The exhibition also features short film "Time Stau," which Throwell made in collaboration with Dirk Skreber. The film follows a young couple's experiences and eventual deterioration after succumbing to the power of addiction.
"I romanticized drugs heavily when I was young," the now-sober artist told Spiegel Online.
The paintings in Throwell's latest series begin with film stills from Time Stau. The eight richly constructed works combine photographic images, silkscreen, and layers of oil paint. The brusque strokes convey a sense of urgency, the impasto of titanium white slashing across the canvas. The process both reveals and obscures, reflecting the exhilarating highs and crushing lows of drug use.
What do you think of Throwell's artworks? Is his use of human remains a poetic gesture or an inappropriate one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.