Paul Thek (November 2, 1933 - August 10, 1988) was an American painter and, later, sculptor and installation artist. Born in Brooklyn, he studied locally, at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute. In 1951 he entered Cooper Union.Although Thek began as a painter, he became known later in life for his sculptures and installations. Notable works include Technological Reliquaries (1964–67), a series of wax sculptures of human body parts presented on pedestals in glass or acrylic cases, and The Tomb (1967), a bright pink ziggurat installation. The pink ziggurat had a ramp that led to an effigy of the artist inside with a casted replica of Thek's body. Thek realized an alter ego in this piece which began his interest as a performance artist. Unfortunately The Tomb was badly damaged in 1981, however the piece was documented in Edwin Klein's black and white photographs. Today his work may be seen in numerous collections, including that of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.Thek, who was bisexual, died of AIDS related illness in New York City in 1988, aged 54.