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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Installation Takes Visitors On A Nocturnal Stroll Through An Enchanted Forest

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Latest installation by Montreal-based media and entertainment studio Moment Factory invites visitors to explore the illuminated paths of an enchanted forest in Québec, Canada. Foresta Lumina, a 2 km long trail, meanders through the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook full of colorful light installations, visual projections and chilling sound effects.

According to the creative studio, Foresta Lumina strives to reveal park’s natural beauties and mysteries. Along the nocturnal stroll through the forest, visitors are acquainted with the region’s fictitious heritage and forest mythology: fairies, spirits and other bewitched mythical creatures. “It’s all about goosebumps,” says Gabriel Pontbriand of Moment Factory.

The multisensory experience is achieved through a set of skillful arrangements. Colorful lighting compositions turn the forest into a glistening canvas, whereas video mapping brings natural elements to life. Dynamic visual projections accompanied by ethereal soundtrack escort visitors into the mystical world of fantasy.

The project has already become a major tourist attraction with an average of 500 to 1,000 visitors every night. Foresta Lumina is open to public until October 11th. (via designboom)

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