People have been practicing the art of Taxidermy since long. This form of art essentially involves the preservation of an animal’s body by stuffing or mounting for the purpose of study or display. The ancient Egyptians have also been practicing this, as they embalmed and entombed cats, birds, and other creatures. Over the millennia, people have been using animals mounted as hunters’ trophies and museum artifacts.
Sarina Brewer, in collaboration with Scott Bibus, in 2002, began with a sub-genre of taxidermy that would dramatically change the way their materials were used: they mixed fur, mummified remains, and bones together with sculptural objects, which they called Rouge Taxidermy.
Featured here is collection of rogue taxidermists who create imaginative (and often bizarre) sculptures. Interestingly, this movement has been largely practiced by women. It should also be noted that rogue taxidermy is driven by the principles of recycling, waste reduction, and the use of ethical sources.
1 – James Prosek
His words of art are often mixed with peace and moaning. In this one, the plant imagery connects with the animals to the environments in which they once participated.
2 – Sarina Brewer
An artist and naturalist, Sarina Brewer, has long been fascinated by animals, mythology, and funerary rituals and roots her work in her knowledge of biology and appreciation for the bizarre. She also focuses on Esodermy, which uses the animal parts discarded in Taxidermy.
3 – Iris Schieferstein
This German artist uses dead animal parts and has created a series of zippered, heeled shoes made from the discarded feet of hooved animals. Her morbid couture has been deemed controversial as she embeds them with religious imagery and guns.
4 – Julia Deville
This Taxidermy artists combines silversmithing with taxidermy as a means of exploring and uncovering death. For her, this art is to appreciate the Human and non-human.
5 – Polly Morgan
Morgan, a student of English literature, entered this creative world in 2004. She packs story and symbolism in her work like actors in a grotesque theatre, dead birds lay splayed out in bell jars, or cram together in ice cream scoops and telephones.
6 – Oddity Avenue
This began when a Victorian sculpture was discarded due to having a missing eye and broken leg. Inspired by this, the artist began acquiring the auctioned pieces of taxidermy art, and incorporated the different specimens into curio sculptures.
7 – Enrique Gomez De Molina
His art forms has joy and despair blended together. The artist claims that he feels happiness while creating creatures of mythical power and beauty, but, feels sad about the loss, sacrifice, and destruction that permeates life. He has apparently spent 20 years in jail for trafficking endangered wildlife.
8 – Harriet Horton
Her creativity is pop art style. She has a modern approach towards Taxidermy, as many of her creations are neon-colored, fluorescent-lit, and have surrealist elements, such as a squirrel with a squid enveloping its head.
9 – Kate Clark
Her extraordinary creations combine human faces with animals. She uses recycled animal hides that are considered too imperfect to mount. Her creations gives a realisation of how all the living beings on this planet are one.
10 – E.V. Day
She is a New York based artist who uses taxidermied objects and resin casts of animal bones to create stunning sculptures and hanging installations. The ‘Tongues and Clams’ series of her, consists of clam shells, abalone, animal jaws, mother-of-pearl, and resin fused together to create oozing, edgy representations of sexuality and gender.
Featured Image ©Kate Clark