The field of Taxidermy has been the domain of more than just the family from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and your weird, creepy uncle. To the circus sideshow, taxidermy mad-skillz, and off the beaten path mad-skillz, were pretty much essential. Sewing together parts from different animals to make a new one is how the sideshow Gaffs began, most notably P.T. Barnum’s famed Fiji Mermaid. Gaffs have run the gamut from furry fish to the always popular Jackalope (which as I previously reported may have actually been based on a thoroughly disgusting natural phenomenon). But now, the portmanteau stuffing of animals have moved from out of the darkness of circus tents and into the art galleries…and it’s a group of rather attractive women who are leading the charge.
Meet the women of “Rogue Taxidermy”. From left to right, Sarina Brewer of Minneapolis, Kate Clark of Brooklyn, Lisa Black of Brisbane Australia, Katie Innamorato of New Jersey and Amber Maykut of Brooklyn. They all share an interest in this new art form that is, according to Robert Marbury, co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, “a pop-surrealist genre of sculpture that uses taxidermy materials, traditional materials, in an unconventional manner. The attempt is to be as ethical, to reduce and reuse as much as we can of the animal so there’s no waste, feeding back to stewardship and conservation.”
Abstract and strange, rogue taxidermists don’t hunt but re-use, often combining other forms of art into their pieces. The results vary and quite a bit, but these creations are strange, beautiful and sometimes kind of haunting. Check out some of these examples…
You really should check out this article from Vice.com which explores the new art form and interviews each of these women about their style and techniques. Coolness.