I love animals but I hate cleaning up after animals. It's a quandary that has vexed me an forced me to lead a fuzzy-buddy-less life. After last night's Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest, organized by the mad geniuses at The Secret Science Club, I think I may just have a solution to my pet-desiring woes! Watching the owners of various specimens speak with affection about their still-life critters stirred made me think that maybe--just maybe--I could know some of the joy of animal companionship without any of the messy realities that accompany carbon-based life forms.
Truth be told, I got QUITE snap-happy during the program because there was just so much amazing artwork on display. Just check out Pope Pinenut II up there, created by artist Maria Carreon and part of the collection of Sofia Gonzalez--it's a squirrel dressed in lovingly crafted papal regalia. His owner recited a moving psalm about the transient nature of life.
This beautiful piece is a Nineteenth Century automaton composed of two taxidermied songbirds. When the key is turned, the bird sing and flap their wings.
Equally as beautiful but on a grander scale is this chandelier composed of crystals and goats' skulls. An absolutely stunning work when viewed in person--I totally want it in my apartment. NOW.
As one familiar with the history of preserved specimens might expect, the Victorians were highly over-represented. These ladies had a gorgeous collection, including the Beast of Some-Colorful-English-Place-Whose-Name-Escapes-Me, which resided in its original fairground display case. It looked to be two conjoined rats, but then again my grasp of biology is rather notoriously poor.
Artist Takeshi Yamada shared his recent creations, a series of monster babies that the artist claims are carefully crafted from samples of his own skin and hair, with a gleeful sense of showmanship. Dude is totally a hero, take my word for it.
A rare specimen of Waltopithecus, a large rodent species with oversized extremities and only four digits per hand, was displayed by its discoverer.
Felis Fightus Dansicus, a piece composed of two cats locked in a mortal struggle for kitty supremacy, won Best In Show. The cats appear to be dancing if held upright, which is all different kinds of awesome, as was the way the cats' owner stroked them lovingly while displaying them to the judges.
For more photos from the Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Show, check out my Flickr photostream. There are many more amazing pieces to view, and I'm already eager to see the wonders of next year's competition!
For more weird and wonderful mounted creatures, be sure to check out the Tumbl-blog Crappy Taxidermy. It does what it says on the tin, people.
[Please let me know if you are the proud owner of any of these beauties, as I'd love to give you credit.]