Boîte de Pierre Tombale vs Boîte de Valaise

Boîte de Pierre Tombale

Another little project has wrapped up in my studio. For the past few weeks, I’ve been shuffling words and sorting through old paintings, shows and everything else in my little art life. Now my extensive portfolio project is now complete!


“At the Harvard Art Museums, every object receives a tombstone. This macabre moniker is the traditional term used to refer to a bare-bones (ahem) label. The tombstone simply lists the object’s name and artist’s name (if applicable), the creation date (and occasionally the place), medium (material), and a line summarizing when and how the museums came to possess the object.”

-“Writing on the Wall” – Harvard Art Museum website

The idea of having everything about my career in one box as a portable portfolio has always been appealing to me. Ages ago I was wandering through the Yale Art Museum and stumbled into the reference library and unknowingly pulled out a box labeled DuChamp. Within moments of opening it, I realized I was handling DuChamp’s Boîte de Valaise.

Ever since then, I’ve been envious of his creation. At moments this felt like the ultimate vanity project. Looking back through twenty plus years of art and art projects, it took on a different tone. It felt like my obituary. I played off DuChamp’s original and named this project ‘Boîte de Pierre Tombale’ (‘tombstone box’).

I spent some wild nights bending writing programs to the formats I needed. Laying out zines was a headwreck as memories of old paintings, old lives all rushed back. After a couple of long nights editing words, it was finally complete!

The full contents of my Boîte de Pierre Tombale:

  • Complete pages for Biography, Artist Statement, Additional biographical material, schliefkevision description, shows, curated shows, awards
  • Stickers and Magnets
  • ‘Looking at Art’ 40 page zine, compiled from schliefkevision, assorted shows and art things I’ve seen and written about.
  • ‘Making Art’ 80 page zine, compiled from 12 months of studio updates from this very site.
  • A 16 page mini sketchbook, featuring rarely seen sketches from my own sketchbooks
  • Fold out diorama – one side of my studio, the other of my paintings on display
  • A collection of 25 postcards from various shows and events I’ve put together over the years.
Boîte de Pierre Tombale - the ultimate art tombstone

Now that it’s finished, it’s just a matter of wrangling up some extra funds to make multiple copies to get them into the hands of people who should have them.