Like it or not, taxidermy art has been around for generations and is a fascinating genre. Now on view at La Luz de Jesus Gallery is their 3rd Biennial Taxidermy Show which honors these surprisingly opulent and sometimes horrific specimens. It’s important to note that they were sourced ethically, meaning no animals were killed during the creation of the artwork. Don’t be quick to assume that these artists are glamorizing death. Ironically, they breathe new life into the form and capture a moment in time.
Exhibiting artist Divya Anantharaman recreated one of nature’s wonders, a baby bird hatching. A branch is placed delicately in its beak recalling the image of the peace dove. Other artists like Catherine Coan let her imagination run wild by crafting a rabid deer on a blood-red vintage sofa. For the whimsical, there is Kevin Clark‘s carefully preserved weevil riding a miniature tricycle. There is everything from dolls to fashion, jewelry and animatronics.
The adjacent gallery features new work by multidisciplinary artist Ave Rose, “Bestiary of the Automata”. Although she exhibits a wide variety of work, her penchant for sea life is clear. Standouts include a hermit crab that springs to life as you walk past it and ornate music boxes made of carousel-seahorses. This may not be a show for the faint of heart, but it sparks a conversation about art and its ability to bring fantasy to reality.
La Luz de Jesus’ 3rd Biennal Taxidermy Show is on view until June 1st, 2014.