Tag Archive | Taxidermy

Modern Art Monday Presents: Still Life With Cake By Raphaelle Peale

Still Life with Cake
Photo By Gail

Still Life With Cake (1818), a typical still life by Raphaelle Peale (17741825), the son of Charles Willson Peale, may have been the picture exhibited in 1819 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as Still Life—Wine, Cakes, Grapes, &c. A similar picture dating from the same year is in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Peale’s tightly-grouped still lifes are often permeated with a delicate melancholy akin to that which characterized the life of the artist; he was an alcoholic who suffered the effects of arsenic and mercury poisoning caused by his work as a taxidermist in his father’s museum. His spare, essential style may have been influenced by the Spanish still lifes he studied in Mexico and by the works of Juan Sanchez Cotan, exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1818.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: Chicken Lamps By Sebastian Errazuriz

Chicken Lamps
Story and All Photos By Gail Worley

New York-based Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz is known for thinking way outside the box. Always on the look-out for interesting materials, he aims to strike a balance of artistic and practical qualities of design, and his sense of humor often ends up in the mix. In this case, Errazuriz obtained the bodies of taxidermy chickens (which died of natural causes) to create these fun and unique Chicken Lamps. Who says upcycling has to be dull?

Chicken Lamp with Egg Bulb

In one model, the light bulb is seen emerging from the bird’s hindquarters, just as an egg would.

Chicken Lamp with Shade

In an alternate design, the chicken’s head has been replaced by the light bulb. These lamps stand on the chicken’s two feet, mounted on a plexiglass disc. Available from R and Company.

Photographed at The Salon Art and Design at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC.

Chicken Lamps

Joseph Gross Gallery Presents Cecil: A Love Story By Joseph Grazi

Mufasa By Joseph Grazi
Mufasa By Joseph Grazi: Taxidermy Bats, Dried Butterflies and Stone Sculpture on Wood Mounted in Plexiglass (All Photos By Gail)

Writing this rad blog has been an excellent way to discover and start to follow the careers of many cool and talented local artists, one of whom is Joseph Grazi, who creates fresh artworks by mixing taxidermy with classic statuary, juxtaposed with pristine colored pencil and graphite renderings, and giving the result a slight twist in perspective. Joseph Gross Gallery is currently hosting Cecil: A Love Story, Grazi’s latest body of work, which is a multimedia exhibition that examines the public’s erratic moral compass in the wake of highly publicized tragedies.

Cecil a Love Story

On August 15, 2015 the world learned through a flurry of rage posts populating social media newsfeeds that the (until then widely unknown) Zimbabwean icon Cecil the Lion had been killed by a trophy hunter. The hunter responsible, a white, privileged dentist named Walter Palmer, had become the most hated man on the planet overnight.

Cecil Large Installation

Cecil: A Love Story scrutinizes the public’s alarmingly inconsistent morals, particularly in relation to animals. Through various media, Grazi creates a dialogue surrounding how we perceive and process atrocities committed against human beings versus those against animals.

Panthera Repax
Panthera Repax

Why did killing of Cecil the Lion by Walter Palmer make frontpage news over a terrorist attack that happened in the same week? Why did Jimmy Kimmel cry over the death of Cecil, but not after 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram?

Panthera Nobla
Panthera Nobla

Having worked with lions in Africa for a period of time, the artist brings an informed perspective to the exhibition that contrasts the suburban American mentality surrounding wildlife. Wildlife, the artist argues, is a human construction. People say “don’t play God,” but rather, he states, “we already are God.” The wilds are only wild because humans allow it to exist.

False Prophet 1
False Prophet 1 (left) Installation Detail

Further, Joseph Grazi investigates what it is specifically about lions that has infatuated humans throughout history. A timeless tradition and continuous obsession, with imagery carved into ancient churches to the modern suburban home – the exhibition begs the question “why are lions so special?” It dives deep into our
collective consciousness to discover why Cecil, of all creatures and all lions, was deemed so extraordinary.

Panthera Regal
Panthera Regal

Joseph Grazi and Lynzy Blair
Artist Joseph Grazi with Joseph Gross Gallery Director, Lynzy Blair, at the Exhibit’s Opening Reception

Panthera Aesthetica
Panthera Aesthetica

Cecil: A Love Story By Joseph Grazi will be on Exhibit Through October 31st, 2016 at Joseph Gross Gallery, located at 548 W 28th St, Ground Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

False Prophet
False Prophet 2

Matthew Dutton’s Midnight Paracosm at Stephen Romano Gallery

Midnight Paracosm
All Photos and Videos By Gail

A Paracosm is a detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. Such a fantasy world may involve humans, animals and things that exist in reality, or it may also contain entities that are entirely imaginary, alien and otherworldly. Commonly having its own geography, history and languages, the experience of such a parascosm is often developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.

Paracosm Mantel

Paracosms are also made reference to as types of childhood creativity and problem-solving. Some believe that paracosm play indicates high intelligence. In his installation entitled Midnight Paracosm, Tennessee-based artist Matthew Dutton is creating his own world of creative play. And if you are already familiar with Dutton’s delightfully disturbing found object sculptures, you will understand that this tableau represents exactly what is going on in his mind most of the time.

Santa Deer

Taxidermy Deer with Santa Mask and Wig/Beard

Hula Baby in Birdcage

My Absolute Favorite: Hula Baby in a Birdcage with Blonde Fall

To me, Midnight Paracosm looks like a Living Room on Christmas Morning in a Midcentury Nightmare. Let’s go to the Video!



As you can see, there are four animatronic creatures inside the Midnight Paracosm, three of which emit audible voice recordings that sound like that of small girl child. I asked Matthew about those voices and he told me that the recordings are all from conversations with his two (“almost three”) year old son. So adorable, and yet very creepy!

Gnome Head
Gnome Head

Look, more videos!



How fast would you lose your mind if you saw this Mutant Porcupine Baby crawling up the wall? Scary!



And do you even want to know what’s under the blanket on the couch? I prefer to let my imagination run wild!

Mickey Mouse Heads

Thank god this one didn’t move or speak.

Elephant

Matthew Dutton’s Midnight Paracosm isn’t quite as much fun as going to Disneyland while on Acid, but it’s a lot cheaper.

Midnight Paracosm by Matthew Dutton runs concurrently with Saint Bowie at the Stephen Romano Gallery, Located on the Southeast Corner of Harrison Place and Porter in Bushwick Brooklyn. Take the L Train to the Morgan Exit and Walk a few Blocks East on Harrison to Porter Avenue. There’s a Vietnamese Restaurant Across the Street. Please go there and let me know if the Food is any good.

Midnight Paracosm Signage

Porcupine Baby

Pink Thing of The Day: Taxidermy Rats Driving a Hot Pink Sports Car!

Rats in Pink Sports Car
All Photos By Gail

People say to me all the time, “Gail, where do you find the amazing Pink Things you put on your blog?” And I say to them: “I find the everywhere!” This pair of Taxidermy White Rats driving a Hot Pink Sports Car (yes, I just typed that) was spotted in the gift shop at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn. I did not ask if it was actually for sale.

Rats in Pink Sports Car

It is obvious that they are about to drive off the edge of a “cliff,” all Thelma and Louise-style.

Rats in Pink Sports Car

But look how much fun they’re having! Wee!

Marisol’s Women and Dog at The Whitney Museum

Women and Dog
All Photos By Gail

It’s always fun to discover a new work by Pop artist /sculptress Marisol (AKA Maria Sol Escobar, born 1930 in Venezuela) when we are out on an art safari. Her pieces, which are like 3D portraits, can be found not only at the Whitney but in the permanent collections of The Met and MOMA as well, and they are instantly recognizable.

Equal parts painting, collage, carving, and assemblage, Women and Dog (1964) was inspired by sources as diverse as its constituent materials. Marisol worked in New York during the emergence of Pop Art in the early 1960s and was one of few women associated with the movement. This sculpture reflects the fascination with everyday life that was fundamental to Pop, and yet its larger-than-life, totemic forms and the multi-faced profiles of the figures belie influences from Pre-Colombian and Native American folk art to analytic Cubism.

Women and Dog

The trio of females strolling with a child and a dog seem to suggest Marisol’s interest in social norms and conventions relating to women in society, but the composition is ambiguous. Elements of the women’s clothing are colorfully whimsical, yet they are literally “boxed in” by their garments, and their faces are marked by a deadpan impenetrability. The women, and perhaps the child too, are self-portraits — indeed, a photograph of the artist is applied directly onto the face of one of the figures — suggesting a fluid inhabitation of different female roles and identities.

New Photo Added August 18, 2019:

Marisol Women and Dog

Glass Bambi

Glass Bambi
All Photos By Gail

While on an Art Safari at The Met this past weekend, we discovered the rare Glass Bambi, which is actually called PixCell-Deer #24, created in 2011 by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa as part of his Heisei period works. Glass Bambi was realized by covering a full sized Taxidermied Deer with variably sized artificial crystal glass beads, called PixCells, a term coined by the artist. PixCell combines the idea of a Pixel — the smallest unit of a digital image — with that of a Cell. Clever.

 PixCell Deer 24

Glass Bambi

Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the part of Nawa, PixCell-Deer #24 resonates with a type of religious painting known as a Kasuga Deer Mandala, which features a Deer — the messenger animal of Shinto Deities —   posed similarly, with its head turned to the side, and with a round sacred mirror on its back.

PixCell Deer 24 Detail
Pixcells, Detail

In Japanese art, the Deer is often depicted as a companion of ancient sages, and has auspicious and poetic associations.

 PixCell Deer 24

Glass Bambi Head

PixCell Deer 24

PixCell Deer #24, AKA Glass Bambi is Part of the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC!

New Photos Were Added to This Post On March 13, 2019!