Paul Wirhun


PAUL WIRHUN I have worked on eggshells since I was a child, learning the traditional Ukrainian art of pysanky from my mother. This is the same Eastern Slavic tradition that produced the exquisite work of Fabrege, who was creating jeweled eggs and objets d'art for the Russian aristocracy. This artistic and cultic use of eggs informs my work to this day - as I believe that eggs are events - not simply objects. The shells (while the protective casing for the new life inside) are memories of the primal events that produced the eggs, intended as new life. In order to infuse new life into this art form, I have manipulated traditional processes with innovative dyeing & brush techniques, and etching, to forge a new visual language to write on this versatile, organic sphere. Each egg is a spherical space, a continuously turning pictorial plane around which images distort, challenging common perceptions. I also create collages from broken eggshells; destroying the intensely controlled process of carefully scripted design on the shell and turning studio detritus into stories. Through using broken shells and adhering them to a flat surface plane, I have reconfigured my preconceived worldview by playing in an unknown field of shattered illusions. As a three-dimensional phenomenon, eggshells offer unique possibilities for sculpture. Each type of eggshell affords me unique opportunities for expression due to the variations of texture, color and size. I endeavor to combine these properties to create a new art, a synthesis of ancient design toward a new worldview.



Born in New Haven, CT, February 13, 1961, NYC resident since 1998.
1989 MA, philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
1984 BA, philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

2015 "Under the Sea," Ivy Brown Gallery, NYC, March - April

2014 "When My World Fell Apart," Ivy Brown Gallery, NYC, April

2005 “egglandia,” Go Fish Gallery, NYC, March/April
2004 THE SKULL PROJECT, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, NYC, October-November; public art ritual commemorating everyone killed in Iraq through making skulls eggs.
“Photography,” The Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, MA, September
2002 "New Erotica," The Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, MA, July/August
"Journeys," Gallery Ariodante, New Orleans, LA, April
2001 "Messengers," Alabaster, San Francisco, CA, November
"In Spirit," The Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, MA, July-August
2000 “Images of Buddha," Alabaster, San Francisco, CA, December
"Eggshell Mosaics," The Schoolhouse, Provincetown, MA, August/September
"Mardi Gras," Gallery Ariodante, New Orleans, LA, February-March
1998 Attica Erotica," Alabaster, San Francisco, CA, April
New Orleans All-Around," Gallery Ariodante, March
1997 "Flushing Beauty," Walker's Wonders, Provincetown, MA, July-September; bathroom installation with floating (in toilet) ostrich shell, torn & mixed media.
"The Art of Pysanky," Gallery Ariodante, March
1996 "The Eggman: New Works," The Artful Hand, Boston, MA, May
"Glorifying the Egg," Gallery Ariodante, New Orleans, LA, March
1995 "Attica Erotica Series," Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena, SF, CA July-October
"Provincetown All-Around," The Collections Gallery, Provincetown, MA, September
2014 "The BIG EGG Hunt," New York City public sculpture exhibition, April
"EGG-Zibit: The Art, Science and Culture of Eggs," Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, January-April; five pieces represented in the Culture section.
2013 "Art and Craft: Made in Provincetown," Provincetown Art Association & Museum, May-June, "Cape Swirl" batiked Ostrich Shell, curated by James Bakker.
2011 "Extraordinary Materials," Shore Galleries, Provincetown, MA, September, Hal Katzen, curator.
2010 "Small Works, " Julie Heller East Gallery, Provincetown, MA, April-May.
2009 "Clowns, Freaks & Amputees," Antebellum Gallery, Hollywood, CA, "Blue BINKY," painted, framed, 16"x20" clown image, Rick Castro, curator.
2007 “small works,” 80 Washington Square East Galleries (WSEG-NYU), New York University, New York, NY, February- March, “Unwanted,” painted/gilded Ostrich shell, Jim Kempner, juror.
2006 “Thanks: Returning the Favor,” apexart, New York, NY, November-January, 2007, “Children’s Globe,” pencil sketched ostrich shell.
“Modern Heretics,” Antebellum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, October-December, egg erotica shown with fantasy art photography, Rick Castro, curator.
“American 7,” WORKS/San Jose, San Jose, CA, August-September, “Laughing all the Way to the Bank,” eggshells & mixed media, David Duckworth, Fanny Retsek, Sandra Starkey Simon, curators.
“Erotic Art Show,’ The Kinsey Institute, University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN, April-June, “EROS KAOS,” eggshell collage, Betsy Stirratt, curator.
“The Studio Visit,” Exit/Art, New York, NY, January-March; “egglandia” window studio installation, Papo Colo & Jeanette Ingberman, curators.
“small works,” 80 Washington Square East Galleries (WSEG-NYU), February-March, “Going Under,” painted Ostrich shell, Jack Shainman, juror.

2005 “The Folk Show,” The Erotic Museum, Hollywood, CA, August-November; “IO PAN,” etched Emu shell.
“small works,” 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, July-August; “Globalization” & “THINK PINK” selected.
2004 “Dollhouses in the Dollhaus,” Dollhaus Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, September-October; “Skully’s at Home,” nested skull eggs in birdcage installation.
“Terrorvision,” Exit/Art, New York, NY, May-July; “21 Skull Salute,” 21 skull eggs in a bowl, Papo Colo & Jeanette Ingberman, curators.
“small works,” WSEG-NYU, New York, NY, January-March, “Globalization,” goose and chicken shell collage, Molly Barnes, juror.
2003 "Local Talent/Small Works," Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAHC); Brooklyn, NY, December; "21 Skull Salute," installation of 21 skull eggs in bowl on marble slab on a pedestal. James Pinney, curator.
Group Show," The Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, MA, August-Septmeber; 2 installations of skull eggs, Michael Carroll, curator.
2002 "Local Talent/Small Works," WAHC, Brooklyn, NY, December, 2 Buddha eggs and eggshell mosaic.
“small works," (WSEG-NYU), February-March, "Eleven's #2," Barbara Millstein, juror.
2001 "And Lo! The Old Gods!" Leslie-Loman Art Museum , New York, NY, April 3 - June 2, IW PAN series, Charles Leslie, curator
2000 "Reflections of Myself," All Out Arts Festival, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, New York, NY, May , Self- Portrait, Arthur Burns, curator.
1999 “small works," WSEG-NYU, January-March, Attic-black ostrich shell "Hercules Labor #13," Ronald Feldman, curator.
1998 "Group Show," The Schoolhouse Center, Provincetown, MA, June, Attic-black ostrich hanging "Beach Chum," Michael Carroll, curator
"Members Juried," Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM), Provincetown, MA, January-March, Batiked rhea shell "Rhythm," Aristides Logothetis, curator
1997 "Assisted Ready-Made," The Folk Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD, June-August, Attic-black figure triptych "Man & Nature," on rhea shells.
“Multi-Cultural Exhibition," The Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, CT, December-January 1997, Joseph P. Gualtieri, curator
1996 “20/20: Emerging Artists," PAAM, Provincetown, MA, July, "A Prayer: God bring back the cod," batiked ostrich shell, Lee Musselman, curator.
"The Eggman: Exotic Eggs," Clark Art Gallery, S.E. Louisiana University, March.
1994 "Glitter, Gold & Myrrh," Leslie-Loman Gallery, New York, NY, June-July, Attic-black figure series "Pan-Athanaic Vases."
“Crafts National 28," Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, June-July , Attic-black and geometric series goose shells.
Craft Magazine, #2, Winter 2007, “Eggcentric Art,” by Susan Brackney.
The New York Times, February 24, 2006, “The Studio Visit: Exit Art,” by Roberta Smith
The Village Voice, May 7, 2004, “Getting Personal, Political and Very Idiosyncratic at Exit Art,” by Jane Harris
The Wall Street Journal, 1/2/2003 & 1/2/2004 editions, year-end global market report illustration.
Decorative Eggs; Exquisite Designs with Wax and Dye. Jane Pollak, Sterling Lark Books, 1996.
"Works in Progress," radio interview with Diana Fabbris, WOMR, Provincetown, MA, aired 9/15/95.
"The Eggman Cometh," Squid magazine, Fall 1994.