The artwork of Cassandra Smith exists in the space between juxtapositions. Taxidermied animals are often a bit creepy. However, Smith’s stuffed forest friends are also playfully decorated – fish covered in rhinestones, and fur in bright paint. The natural plays with the synthetic, old with the new, and utilitarian with the decorative. She says of her work:
“My work is about manipulations and transformation. It is about exploring the ways that I can enhance and change found objects to give them something they did not have in their former life.” [via]
Taxidermy is a subject that frequently makes people squeamish and uncomfortable, and there is something definitely something surreal about preserving an animal that has died. Idiots are a Dutch art collective who combine their skills in sculpture and design create taxidermy works of art that are both playful and disturbing. The animals are lifelike and dynamic, but often with their bodies torn apart, stuffed into glass containers, or trapped in unnatural positions. Their sculptures often exhibit the animals inner workings, and replace organs with metals, minerals, or jewels. The beauty contained inside the animals makes their lifelessness even more tragic, and indicates that the artists recognize the morbidity in their own work.
…My attention has been drawn to the cheap distractions we choose to place in our immediate vicinity, with which to screen us from the overwhelming facts: that we are nothing; that our only certainty as individuals is a life, of unspecified duration, and then a death.
Seeing some crazy output from London-based artist Claire Morgon. Using a lot of unusual materials, she’s put together some really huge (both in scale and technique) installations. Dandelion seeds? Taxidermy? Yes please.
But to get the full Morgan effect, you have to click to her website. She’s got some awesome works on paper too. And if you’re anywhere near Cologne, Germany, head over to Galerie Karsten Greve, where the artist is currently showing a new batch of work. (via)
“My recent work references a variety of artistic techniques and influences from traditional oil painting and modern digital photography to the iconography of ancient Egypt , the American pin-up and nineteenth-century taxidermy. In this group of work, I seek to chronicle the relationship between the genesis of female icon objectification and its historical development. These works describe the psychological juxtaposition between the inherent urge to exploit one’s own short-lived youth and the pressures of adhering to social expectation. I explore the push and pull of these two concepts, asking how they have affected the female psyche and as well as how society has actively created its own vision of the idealized female.
My source material includes a range of visual elements, attempting to portray diverse visualized vernaculars, both past and present, into single compositions. My centralizing of the female figure illustrates the tensions and conflicts between the power of their beauty and strength of their character, as well as their inevitable vulnerability. Historically, artists have exploited the tradition of realistic oil portraiture not only to create a likeness, but also to embody the essential character of the subject. My paintings reconcile traditional portraiture with the more modern idea of an active subject, depicted not solely based upon her social status, but immortalized for her beauty and appeal. Similarly, the inclusion of taxidermied trophy animal heads alludes to the vulnerability of a creature that is prized for its beauty, complicating the notion of power attributed to the anthropomorphized deities of the ancient Egyptians. Finally, the figures are foregrounded against fragmented views of digital interruption and pixilation, serving to remind one of how computerized communication has profoundly affected how we reimagine the female form.”
Peter Gronquist makes the unlikely combination of taxidermy and symbols of power and luxury. Taking the traditional forms of taxidermy, Peter creates gold and silver antlers for the stuffed animals that are transformed into an array of powerful firearms and luxury brand logos. One could argue that using the ever so popular image of guns and brand names might be a rehashed idea that keeps popping up over and over again within the street art/low brow community but you have to admit that there is a wow factor when you come across a giant stuffed deer with Rambo style machine guns pointed at both sides. What do you think? Are these simply gimmicky combinations with not much depth or the next best thing since sliced bread?
Erick Swenson started creating lifelike sculptures in varying states of decay to prove that he could. Echoing set design, museum exhibits and model creation, Swenson conjures elaborate scenes with polyurethane resin and occasional elements of taxidermy.
Pascal Bernier’s art work depicts an ongoing theme about human and animal relationships. This Brussels based sculptor uses and manipulates different representation of animals to take a detached look at social behavior. Some of Bernier’s work is a social commentary about game hunting (and what is done to the animal’s body after it is killed); Bernier work represents animals in a very sad manner questioning your own ethics on animal rights.
Working out of Melbourne, Australian photographer Jessica Tremp produces some lovely creative pieces. Her technique is rather dusty, as if her work was produced some sixty years ago; complementing her taxidermic subjects and derelict settings. Each piece impresses the viewer with unsettling beauty.