Archive for taxidermy
Vanessie Art Dolls are the work of the talented Esther Verschoor.
The dolls and outfits are hand crafted from a wide variety of materials. And all real skulls are from animals who have died of natural causes (never killed for food, fur or human use).
As if the costumes weren’t brilliantly detailed enough, many of the dolls are actually sporting lacy underwear and stockings beneath!
Fans of interesting taxidermy and Gothic/Victorian fashion will love these pieces.
There are so many lovely things to look at in the Vanessie galleries. Have a look!
How about a few vintage treats to start?
How about a little “art?”
King Henry Groundhog (hm?):
How about a painted groundhog tart pan? My goodness, this is depressing.
At least this soap is a bit more cheerful.
This poor guy looks like he’s undergoing an uncomfortable medical procedure.
And now for your daily dose of euphemism: the Jolly Groundhog:
Innnnnnnteresting…(I love how this next one is available on “Fine Art America”).
Now this, I really like:
And a little taxidermy…
GAH! (The store this comes from is actually pretty great)
Don’t miss the absurd finds on last year’s Groundhog Day post!
I tend to post about taxidermy gone wrong (since I find it the most entertaining). But someone who is quite aware of my odd sensibilities sent me this commercial for Ojai Valley Taxidermy. It’s so wrong…it’s right.
Oddities chronicles some of the acquisitions, sales, custom projects, product hunts and colorful characters that comprise a day in the life of the Obscura team (Mike Zohn, Evan Michelson, Ryan Matthew).
I’m delighted that this program brings attention to one of my favorite places of all time, and sheds light on the captivating alternatives to decorating one’s home in department store standards.
Here’s a clip that actually shows some of Ryan’s cat skull/skeleton work, which I posted about yesterday.
Season 2 just wrapped, but you can still catch the episodes on the Science Channel.
See a bunch of clips, TV schedule and more info here.
It took a rare specimen (pun absolutely intended) to make me consider dedicating a theme week to an individual rather than a concept. I found such inspiration in self-taught artisan, jeweler, collector, TV personality and master of osteological works Ryan Matthew, who was kind enough to give me a tour of his personal collections.
His home is more of an experience than a standard place of residence. More finely curated than the vast majority of museums I’ve visited, each room is saturated with rare artifacts from bygone days: skulls, articulated skeletons, pickled specimens, taxidermy, metal work, antiquated devices…a collection too vast to be cataloged or justly represented in a mere blog post.
Ryan has transformed his Brooklyn apartment into a wonderland of glass-domed treats, flora and fauna. With remarkable ambition and dedication to his craft, he has created a veritable oddities empire.
I personally feel very much at home surrounded by the rich history of human remains and ephemera. These objects are the time keepers of our ingenuity and foibles. Every surface was adorned with fascinating creations, brilliant artistry, milestones of medical and cultural evolution, misguided inventions, and unfortunate accidents of birth. Every item tells a story, and many of them also carry colorful anecdotes of acquisition (never a dull moment when dead things are one’s trade!).
The myriad skulls in the collection possess various anomalies: interesting ossifications, deformities, etc. These are not the bleached, pristine craniums of med school lectures. These beauties have character.
This colorful baby doe reminds me very much of Iori Tomita’s work.
The back room contains a number of curiosity cabinets, all fully stocked and beautifully arranged. It was impossible to take it all in at once, and I rapidly developed a kind of Oddities Attention Deficit Disorder due to the delightful overwhelm. These displays require extensive exploration.
I really wish I had more detailed photos of that room and cabinet contents. I could get lost in them for at least a few weeks…or until someone dragged me away and reminded me to eat and sleep.
I was lucky enough to to have two wonderful photographers capture these images for me. Many thanks to the lovely Sara Gage (whom I look forward to working with and posting about in the future) and Sergio Royzen (still life virtuoso!).
Check out Ryan Matthew’s website. We have so much more to cover this week…