We’re All Mad Here

Photographs by Ofer Wolberger

The young girl locked in the moss-lined cage in Meghan Boody’s living room is not, as one parent put it, “a playdate gone awry.” She (or rather, it) is a very lifelike silicone sculpture. The white mice nibbling at the girl’s prone body, however, are actual living rodents. It’s a jarring juxtaposition, all right, and not the sort of tableau one is accustomed to finding inside a loft on West Broadway in Tribeca. But for Boody, an artist whose work will be shown at the Affirmation Arts and Salomon Contemporary galleries this week, the otherworldly and the domestic are often cohabitants. “I see it as a fairy bower,” she says of her autobiographically inspired living-room installation, The Mice and Me. “Other people see it as more dark.” Raised on the Upper East Side and trained as a photographer in Paris, Boody began renting this apartment—formerly an artist’s party-ready live-work space, complete with a Japanese soak tub—in 1994. She now owns it, and with the help of her similarly artistic 9-year-old son Toby, architect David Hotson, and artist-contractor Randy Polumbo, she has transformed it into a seven-room fantasy lair that is equal parts Alice in Wonderland and Being John Malkovich. “I wanted a rambling house with secret closets,” she says, sweeping past the wildly eclectic furniture, sloping fifteen-foot ceilings, exposed fir beams, and—at least—two hidden rooms.

The Enchanted Parlor Architect Hotson masterminded the layout of the apartment, but, says Boody, “when it came to the décor and things like the moldings and cabinet facings, I took over.” Polumbo’s sex-toy- inspired glass sculpture Lovesac rests on top of Boody’s caged-girl installation. Her cat, Nino, is ready to pounce should any of the live mice inside escape. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

The Stairwell The figurines on the wall are Boody’s own creations, inspired by the wives of Henry VIII. The cold-rolled steel banister was made by Polumbo, as was the balcony on slide six. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

Toby’s Room The window opens onto the balcony and living room. Boody found the jeweler’s desk, which she later powder-coated, at Beall and Bell in Greenport. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

Living-Room Landscape Boody’s digital composite photograph is bordered by her signature frame embellishment: fantasy animals. The green-and-silver cabinet is by Nick Dine. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

The Kitchen Sloping fifteen-foot ceilings enabled Boody to create a duplex with a Moorish balcony that complements the original fir support beams. Toby’s bedroom is upstairs. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

At the Top of the Stairs ” To reach this tiny alcove above the foyer, Boody climbs up a set of stairs hidden behind a door that’s been camouflaged in wallpaper from Sonia’s Place. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

” A Secret Playroom Boody in her shrunken sanctuary. The grass-cloth wallpaper and bed fabrics are from Brunschwig & Fils. The porcelain figurines were all found at flea markets. Photo: Ofer Wolberger

We’re All Mad Here