To Do Saturday: Perfect Specimens

A typically spooky Mark Kessell painting.

A typically spooky Mark Kessell painting.

Artist Mark Kessell’s photographs explore human existence from birth to death—from the first stirring of new life to the final phase of post-mortem decay. Kessell’s 11 large-scale images of the not quite born to the not entirely dead can be graphic and shocking, but the artist claims to be more historian than provocateur. Kessell’s show, titled “Perfect Specimens,” asks viewers “When does being human begin and end?” An elusive question to ponder.

Last Rites Gallery, 511 West 33rd Street, (212) 529-0666, 7pm-11pm.