Archive for November, 2011

In a world where the undead have taken over, leaving zombies and vampires running rampant through our TV/movie screens and fantasy love lives, it’s no surprise that an influx of  “dead” art is showing its self. Though not a completely new medium, there are many new, fascinating, sometimes bizarre, and mainly beautiful new takes on the re-purposing of a creatures body. In the Victorian era there were the photos of the dead for a slightly morbid, yet comforting family photo album, then the use of taxidermied birds in Robert Rauschenberg’s installations such as Canyon, and most recently taking center stage with BODIES The Exhibition where preserved, dissected human bodies were showcased. Now taxidermy is no longer a part of art, but the art itself lending numerous breathtaking, head scratching, and thought provoking additions to the art world as of late.

Mike Libby writes in his artist statement on his website http://www.insectlabstudio.com: “This hybridization of insects and technology from both fields, is where Insect Lab borrows from. Insect Lab celebrates these correspondences and contradictions. The work does not intend to function, but playfully and slyly insists that it possibly could.” His mix of insect carcasses and watch parts, really creates a possible futuristic world.

Another artist who takes inspiration from science fiction and steam punk art on a bit larger scale is Lisa Black whose piece Fixed – Turtle also mixes taxidermy, metal, and antique watch parts to create a seemingly robotic turtle. Another of her pieces, Fixed – Fawn is a seemingly flawless culmination of creature and creation that leads the viewer into an immediate thought of cyborg woodland creature.  [www.behance.net/LisaBlack]

Keeping up with the woodland creature theme, Myeongbeom Kim’s creations come from a much different view than Mike and Lisa’s work. His installations provoke a surreal, beautiful fantasy world that simply channels ones imaginations and memories of childhood fairy tales. Kim’s artistic take on taxidermy derives from addition, not subtraction like Mike and Lisa; not making it something else, but something more.

Now we can talk about taxidermy as something new. Geza Szollosi has a series entitled: My Pets or Taxidermy Project, about putting the skin on a different form than the animals usual body shape which is the foundation of taxidermy. The most original, and “rule” breaking take on taxidermy, his cow hyde sculptures create an almost caricatured likeness of the bovine, ballooned head and all. He has also done the same with a guinea pig, deer and wild boar.

He has a lot less tame sculptures including horse heads set on pedestals like chess board knights, a snake dissected showing a piglet in its belly, or hamsters vs. squirrels as a fussball game. His other series, specifically Project Flesh, includes animal parts, mainly pig flesh molded into a much more realistic and profane human likeness that evoke a much more impactful and jarring reaction, as well as subject matter rout with the artist’s take on some social commentary.  Check out his website: http://szollosi.eu/


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