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Exotic Taxidermied Creatures Land Their Creator in Jail

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In Enrique Gomez De Molina’s hands, animals become chimeras—multiple animals blended into one fantasy, nightmare creature. His taxidermied beasts are at once weird and wonderful, absorbing and off-putting. “I guess I like to play God, “ he laughs in a Thrillist interview. Two swan heads share a goat’s body. A nasty little crab/rodent sneers at the camera. Bird’s bills and fur, antlers and insects join seamlessly to make creatures that defy nature. Gomez De Molina says of his strange menagerie:

“The impossibility of my sculpture brings me both joy and sadness at the same time. The joy comes from seeing and experiencing the Fantasy of the work but that is coupled with the sadness of the fact that we are destroying all of these beautiful things.”

Ironically, Gomez De Molina may be indirectly contributing to that destruction himself. Arrested for illegally importing animal parts, he pled guilty in 2012 and received 20 months in federal prison for trafficking in endangered and protected wildlife. Though he declares the best of intentions for his actions—bringing attention to the plight of endangered animals—his purchases certainly created a deathly supply for his demand. Why take such a risk? His taxidermied chimeras sold for up to $80,000 before his arrest.

Gomez De Molina’s side is that he wants “to bring awareness to the danger faced by a multitude of species: nuclear and chemical waste, overdevelopment, and destruction of rainforests.” U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer doesn’t see it that way.

“For years, DeMolina illegally imported parts and remains of endangered and threatened species, including a cobra, a pangolin, hornbills, and the skulls of babirusa and orangutans, and used them to create taxidermy pieces. … Trafficking in endangered and threatened species, whether for personal profit or under the guise of art, is illegal.”

It remains to be seen whether Gomez De Molina will return to art now that his exotic art supplies have been confiscated.

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Josh Dorman

Whisper (all images via Mary Ryan Gallery)

Whisper (all images via Mary Ryan Gallery)

Josh Dorman paints on old topographical survey maps, tinted with age and layered with meticulously arranged shapes and images, colors flowing within and outside of existing contours, combining histories and facets of the past to embrace a dream that is reflective and inquisitive of the real world. His current show at Mary Ryan gallery was a refreshing reminder of my great enthusiasm for all things collage, especially if it invokes looking at and thinking about the world with fantasy inducing stories while incorporating an undercurrent of criticism, passive yet incisive questioning, and a loss of order or norm.

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Subverted Embroidered Candy Bar Logos Reveal A Darker Side To The Sweet Stuff

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I’m sure most of us have a love of chocolate and confectionery – sometimes indulging ourselves a little, and sometimes we binge, purge and gorge our way to diabetes with the sweet stuff. Embroidery artist Charlotte Bailey of Hanging By A Thread has taken her obsession to a healthier place. Instead of eating the chocolate and candy bars, she has been reworking the logos and house hold brand names of the sweets with colorful, eye-catching embroidery thread. Bailey ever-so-slightly changes the wording of the labels to allude to the darker side of the confectionery industry.

Hershey’s is now changed to Hurtey’s; Milky Bar to Guilty Bar; Oreo to Ohno; Cadbury to Calories. The embroidered pieces are loaded with emotionally charged messages that remind us of the seriousness of an eating disorder. Bailey taps into the thought processes that pass through people’s heads when thinking of buying their next candy fix.

She points out the scary subtext that is always there with any kind of confectionery, or actually with any commodity that is superfluous to our needs. We are always being told to buy more; need more. Whether it’s the style of the attractive packaging and optimistic-looking font, or the level of sugar content in the product, we are always left wanting more.

And if you want more of Bailey’s clever designs, the collection of embroideries are on display at Menier Gallery in London from 28th July – 2nd August 2015.

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Matt Root’s Shrines

Matt Root combines old star atlases with religious and cultural icons, presenting them as shrines or monuments. Through these images he asks questions of identity and ownership within the American landscape. Currently Matt has been focused on objects that symbolize the cultural conflicts of life on the US/Mexico border and Arizona’s tenuous relationship with reality.

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Pes

It is very bad that I am writing about PES today, going into his website, watching his very entertaining and creative videos.. while I am at work here at B/D. It is all very distracting. I love how he finds use for any random object into something recognizable – yet not immediately obvious. I would have never thought of clown cake decorations to stand in for explosions. I could watch these all day.

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Urban Explorer Matt Emmett Captures The Desolate Elegance Of Abandoned Places

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For the last three years, urban explorer and photographer Matt Emmett has taken pictures of hidden locations across Northern Europe. He finds it thrilling to enter a previously-forgotten world and discover its new idiosyncrasies firsthand. Emmett is particularly fascinated in industrial remnants and ex-military sites, and he’s documented it in a series titled Forgotten Heritage.

Having a camera with me allows me to prolong that thrill long after the building is gone,” Emmett writes on his website.“It’s an often quoted cliché but there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past. I consider experiencing these places to be a great privilege.

The landscape images feature hulking machines now obsolete. Rust, dirt, and grime covers control panels and infrastructure as the earth reclaims the land. Emmett is interested in capturing the aesthetics, character, and history of the buildings. He describes this process:

From the point of view of a photographer there is a total lack of distraction in the stillness of a derelict building; the sound and movement associated with people or workers has been removed, for me this makes them far more sensory than when they are occupied. Your mind can easily focus on what is around you and takes in so much more. The building’s voice is clear and a character and visual aesthetic emerges that was much harder to define than if it was a busy, populated environment. (Via designboom)

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McHargue Sculptures

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Hey! Remember that interview with Keegan McHargue that we posted not too long ago? He mentioned that he was doing some sculpture work and I asked him what they look like. They look like this. Pre Teen.

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Kathy Klein’s Intricate, Multi-Textured Floral Mandalas

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Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, and she translates this admiration into a series of natural mandalas. They are called danmalas, which means “the giver of flowers” in vedic sanskrit. The colorful arrangements are comprised of different blooms, leaves, and even some vegetables such as peppers. She layers a variety of textures and shapes into circular patterns that converge in the center.

Klein describes how she crafts these pieces, and it’s about around being in the right state of mind. First, she situates herself in a meditative devotional space. Next, she gathers flowers and other natural objects while her mind continues to be still. She finds inspiration from the golden sound that resides in silence. “These offerings are reflections of the inexpressible, a gesture which points towards life’s abundance, an unspoken verse of Love,” Klein writes. “The danmalas remind us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature, creation, and the eternal mystery.”

If you too are a plant lover (or mandala lover), Klein has many, many more danmalas on her website. (Via Faith is Torment)

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