Emil Melmoth's wax, anatomical models revel in a dark and surreal environment, and where his depraved sculptures live in affliction: fragile beings in an eternally harrowing state of mind. Melmoth's new show The Wanderer's Dissection opens this month at Last Rites Gallery in NYC.

Melmoth projects the sublime and ethereal concepts of death onto his creations, portraying pessimism, nihilism, existentialism, the question of transcendence beyond death, mental instability, and self-destruction, all ideas represented in his invigorating constructs. Many of his pieces express a strong meditation on human fragility, and life in general; one of the most prevalent motifs in Melmoth's creations are figures adorned with metal nails, referencing how nails keep things together, but also cause pain, a powerful message of the staying power of negative thoughts on the human psyche. All of these ideas are interpreted and molded into

Melmoth’s unique compositions of writhing forms and macabre expressions, sculptures that allow for viewers to enter this strange and bizarre world whose atmosphere bleeds into thoughts of our inner selves. Melmoth’s works have a darkly surreal allure to them, as the compositions fuse religious symbolism and carnival-esque demeanor within a surgical overtone, juxtaposing ideas of religious immortality and paradise with the reality of bodily imperfection, dissection, and truths of scientific knowledge. Horrifically mutilated and contorted figures with missing limbs in iconic poses such as the crucifixion make up Melmoth’s body of work. Another common motif is the “Penitent cap,” a hat worn by many of his figures alluding to a dunce, or a buffoon who is part of a circus freak show. These hats generate conversation comparing human nature and society to a freak show in which we serve as the dreaded attractions of his nihilistic view.