Artist Creates Huge Melting Wax House in London

Alex Chinneck

With a sizeable piece of public art; the British artist Alex Chinneck has created a two-story house made from wax in the London area of Southwark The site specific work is part of the Merge Festival 2014, Design Boom reports.

The work is titled ‘A pound of flesh for 50p’ and built by the artist at the end of September; the site-specific work intentionally re-creates the scale and design of a candle making factory that was based in the same area a few of centuries ago.

The installational house is a life-sized building that is constructed from a staggering 8,000 wax bricks – and weighs up to 10 metric tons. The artist has heated the artowrk each morning with a handheld heating machine commonly used in roofing applications.

This has caused the wax house to slowly melt down in a slow motion process revealing the intricacies of its destruction. When the installation concludes on November 18, there should be little left other than a large pool of solidified wax.

The artist was described by the Guardian as the “Uri Geller of bricks and mortar”, Over the past year, Chinneck created a number of maverick architectural installations, which include various manipulations including flipping buildings upside down, suspending them mid-air, and letting them slither down on the pavement – The prolific 30-year-old Chinneck has quickly earned a reputation as an artist who regularly employs illusion in his work.

“These pieces are not conceptually driven, or trying to deliver a particular message,” he told the Guardian. “The aim is to astound people and just cheer them up a bit.” stated the artist, despite the recurring comparisons to conceptual artists with a penchant for architecture such as Rachel Whiteread, and her own ‘House’.

Perhaps Whiteread’s best known work, ‘House’ was a concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian terraced house completed in autumn 1993, in East London. It drew mixed responses, winning her both the Turner Prize for best young British artist in 1993 and the K Foundation art award for worst British artist. Tower Hamlets London Borough Council demolished the work on 11 January 1994 – whereas Chinneck’s work is demolishing itself.


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