ABout the Artist
Serving as reminders of temporality, mortality, and life cycles, Christopher Reilly’s encaustic works express the artist’s fascination with dualities. Like 21st-century nature mortes, or still lifes of dead objects, they feature hallucinatory, color-field backgrounds overlaid with life forms that transform and evolve, such as flowers, branches, butterflies, and dragonflies. Reilly works with gypsum-coated wood panels, layering hot beeswax and pigment that he reheats and removes. He adds bits of colored wax to the surfaces to reveal the rich hues of previously scraped-off layers. The resulting work offers a vision of meditative stillness and contemplation, reflecting multiple cycles of creation, destruction, and regeneration. Reilly has also experimented with sculpture, dripping his encaustic wax over cast Buddha forms. The process imbues the figures with an earthly, human presence that renders them more childlike than godlike.