Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin works in a unique medium. Part drawing, part sculpture, he layers resin or glass with ink, acrylic, or collage, creating otherworldly objects and tableaus suspended in space. Depending on the viewer’s position, the image distorts, disappears, and reappears like a ghostly apparition. The effect is especially powerful when applied to memento mori such as the skull in the current lot. Faced with a representation of something that is quite literally a part of us, we are caught in the empty-socketed gaze of an x-ray vision of our own corporeality. Equal parts mesmerizing and unsettling, Yellin’s work encourages us to meditate on our life by contemplating—and confronting—our mortality.
As I got older, I got more Victorian and morbid. I got into things that circled around death, like skulls or morgue photographs or handwritten diaries. They can be almost haunted with all this history, and you project onto it and then it gets onto you.