Jul 16, 2020 - Sale 2541

Sale 2541 - Lot 181

Price Realized: $ 1,625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
"Forbidden Words of Childhood." Pysanka egg, circa 2010. Mixed media, including eggshell, dye, and polyurethane. Approximately 57x42 mm; 2 1/4x1 3/4 inches. Signed "R. Chast" in lower portion of egg.

In 2003, Roz Chast began experimenting with an unconventional approach to pysanky, a Ukrainian folk art form of colorful and intricately decorated eggshells that is said to date from pagan times. Foregoing conventional vegetal and geometric motifs, Chast adorns her eggs with the types of "Grade A" witticisms and neuroses typically found in her cartoons for The New Yorker.

Chast utilizes specialty tools to create her eggs: a Blas-fix is used to bore a hole in the egg and pump out the insides; a kistka, a drawing implement that dispenses melted beeswax; jars full of colored dye; and a candle with which to heat the wax in the kistka and, later, to burn it off the shell. Rather than plugging the egg's drainage hole with wax, Chast leaves it open. In an interview with Carol Kino for The New York Times on November 26, 2004, Chast explained her reasoning: "I have this paranoia that if I totally seal up the egg, and there's a little tiny bit of egg business inside, it's going to rot and build up horrible gases and then the egg will explode. Better be safe than sorry."