Jun 7, 2024 - Things to Do

Out: Boobs. In: Coffin "fun-eral." New art piece takes over Philly lot

Philly artist Rose Luardo sitting next to her latest guerrilla art installation. It's called "Rave Coffin," a casket wrapped in tie-dye felt.

Rose Luardo's latest art piece is to die for. Photo: Courtesy of Thom Lessner

Why die when you can tie-dye? That's the inspiration behind Philly artist Rose Luardo's latest guerrilla art installation.

Why it matters: Luardo's last piece, "The Boobmuda Triangle," was quite literally a smashing success, so she's followed it up with a sequel.

The latest: Luardo's new art piece is called the "Rave Coffin," a sunny sarcophagus covered in tie-dye felt that makes visitors rethink the solemnity of death.

  • She installed it in the abandoned Capt. Jesse G's Crab Shack triangle lot on Washington Avenue — the same place where she put up "Boob Garden" last summer.
  • That piece stayed up four months until Luardo says a woman in a "Jesus Saves" sweatshirt took a sledgehammer to it.

What's inside: The casket includes a Pluto stuffy pillow for a more comfortable send-off, plus a "Guitar Hero" keytar because you might need "something to do when you're dead."

  • The art piece is interactive. People can pay their respects to the dead from a makeshift altar and scan a QR code that links out to "Your Funeral" page and a soundtrack of Luardo's late father — who loved to hunt, fish and gather coconuts — talking about his childhood in the Philippines.
  • Looking to make it truly a "fun-eral," Luardo cuts into the story with fake commercials from a used coffin service where Philly's hottest bodies come to "get rigor mortis."

What they're saying: Luardo says the piece isn't so much somber as a reminder to savor life.

On her destroyed Boob Garden: "I kept calling [the woman] my 'collaborator.' That was her performance work to smash that [piece] in a Jesus sweatshirt. Brava, brava."

On what she prefers to be buried in: "A gigantic vape, a Diet Coke bottle, plain white Reebok sneaker. A bag of Doritos. Oooh, let's make it Fritos."

On what she needs in the afterlife: A pack of playing cards to play Rummy 500.

On what she hopes death entails: "I'm going to be rejoining the universe in some oceanic oneness, back to the womb, back to this blissed-out state where everything's OK."

On the eventual death of the "Rave Coffin": "Is Mother Nature going to destroy this? Is another woman in a 'Jesus Saves' shirt gonna come with a sledgehammer and knock it down?"


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