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Kelly Jelinek’s Animal Sculptures Combine Taxidermy and Upholstery

Wisconsin based artist Kelly Jelinek combines the art form of taxidermy with upholstery to create her colorful and unusual animal sculptures. The name of her art studio is derived from the artist's last name, Jelinek, which means "little deer" or "little stag" in Czech, so it might seem no coincidence that she feels a strong connection to nature. But even more importantly, her work is faux and kill-free, and as a lifelong animal lover, she remains committed to making art that preserves the fantasy of animals while they were still alive.

Wisconsin based artist Kelly Jelinek combines the art form of taxidermy with upholstery to create her colorful and unusual animal sculptures. The name of her art studio is derived from the artist’s last name, Jelinek, which means “little deer” or “little stag” in Czech, so it might seem no coincidence that she feels a strong connection to nature. But even more importantly, her work is faux and kill-free, and as a lifelong animal lover, she remains committed to making art that preserves the fantasy of animals while they were still alive. To create her characters, she uses the same materials that a taxidermist would use, first beginning with foam-cast forms ordered from a taxidermy supply company, along with other taxidermy parts such as the glass eyes, resin teeth, or rubber tongues. At her website, Jelinek writes, “I find that I am constantly trying to make “real life” more magical and extraordinary through the artwork that I create. The faux taxidermy art that I create is a great example of this: something traditional and commonplace is transformed into something new and exciting. I find that this quote from Edgar Allen Poe pretty much sums up everything that I am about: “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

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