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Exquisite Corpses: Polly Morgan’s sculptural taxidermy
10.13.2017
10:06 am
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‘Myocardial Infarction.’
 
Polly Morgan is an artist who specializes in taxidermy to create works of disturbing beauty. Morgan describes her craft as “as part butchery, part sculpture.” While her work may not be to everyone’s taste, it should be noted that all of the animals used by Morgan either died from natural causes or had unpreventable deaths. She has a long list of suppliers, from zoos, vets, farmers, and even family members, who supply her with a range of dead animals.

It wasn’t a straight path to her chosen career. Morgan tried her hand at a variety of jobs before deciding on following-up on a long-held interest in taxidermy. She was raised in the English countryside in a household filled with a menagerie of animals. As a child, she had wanted to keep the bodies of her pets that had died. Morgan now sees her work as “an opportunity to freeze that moment.”

It was while working in a bar that Morgan started her studies in taxidermy. She had asked a friend where she could find a piece of taxidermy for her apartment. Her friend suggested rather than buying one she make one herself. After scouring the Yellow Pages, she eventually contacted George Jamieson, a taxidermist based in Cramond, Edinburgh. For around $200, Jamieson instructed Morgan on the basics of taxidermy. Jamieson gave her a pigeon to work on, which she completed within a day. This was in 2004. Since then, Morgan has exhibited her taxidermied sculptures to considerable acclaim across the world and has been fêted by the likes of Banksy and Damien Hirst.

You might think all this working death and dead animals would make Morgan a tad morbid and even overly downhearted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Morgan thinks it silly to have an emotional attachment to something that is dead. It’s just decaying flesh. Instead, she believes what she is doing is very positive by making something beautiful out of death.

See more of Polly Morgan’s work here.
 
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‘Lovebird.’
 
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‘Just as Sudden.’
 
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Detail from ‘Rest a Little on the Lap of Life.’
 
More of Polly Morgan’s exquisite work, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.13.2017
10:06 am
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‘Sexy’ taxidermied rat underwear
10.20.2015
09:58 am
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I do not know the exact provenance of these taxidermied undies. There’s a CHANEL logo embroidered on them, but I highly doubt they’re made by the famous haute couture French fashion house. This looks like the handiwork of some homemade Etsy artist.

Whatever the case may be, I would put these in the category of “the ultimate chastity belt.”

via Crappy Taxidermy and h/t Christopher Bickel

Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.20.2015
09:58 am
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Taxidermied mice chess set
12.09.2013
12:15 pm
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Don’t worry, I’ve got your holiday gift ideas covered this year: What about this delightful handmade taxidermy mice chess set by Etsy shop TheCurious13? There’s only one available and it’s retailing for $550.00.

According to the write-up on Etsy:

The set includes 16 light colored mice and 16 dark mice, in various sizes, pawns being the smallest. Set comes complete with wooden hand painted chess board, and storage case (not pictured).

Now I’m curious what the chess board and storage case look like.


 

 

 
With thanks to Gail Potocki!

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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12.09.2013
12:15 pm
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The Awful Art of Failed Taxidermy
06.10.2013
03:32 pm
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Like watercolors of cartoon roadkill, these (rather fab) paintings of “Failed Taxidermy” are by Magnus Kallas, designer, artist and man behind the NSFW “guide to gutter culture,” Flash Glam Trash.

I am quite taken by these wonderfully affecting paintings, which are like finding those long, lost toys (once held precious) discarded in an attic…or, perhaps in this case, a cold, dank cellar.

Still, I’d rather have my favorite pet remembered in a painting like this, rather than having the dear heart stuffed.

View The awful art of failed taxidermy here, and more of Magnus Kallas’ work and web designs here.
 
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H/T Flash Glam Trash
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.10.2013
03:32 pm
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Creepy taxidermy: Potter’s Museum of Curiosities
08.20.2011
11:53 am
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Norman Bates would be proud - the Potter’s Museum of Curiosities, in Bramber, Sussex, where stuffed animals were dressed in costumes and posed in recognizably human settings - at school, sharing a tea party, drinking in a bar. Established in Victorian England, the museum was the idea of Walter Potter, an amateur taxidermist, whose anthropomorphic dioramas were considered typical of Victorian whimsy, and proved so popular with the public during the 1800s that the platform at Bramber railway station had to be extended to accommodate the extra carriages, which brought crowds of day-trippers to see the exhibits.

Born in 1835, Potter’s first attempt at taxidermy was his pet canary. At the age of 19, inspired by a book of nursery poems, Potter created The Death and Burial of Cock Robin, a diorama consisting of 98 species of British birds, which would become the centerpiece of his museum.

The museum had over 10,000 stuffed animals and included tableaux of:

“...a rats’ den being raided by the local police rats ... [a] village school ... featuring 48 little rabbits busy writing on tiny slates, while the Kittens’ Tea Party displayed feline etiquette and a game of croquet. A guinea pigs’ cricket match was in progress, and 20 kittens attended a wedding, wearing little morning suits or brocade dresses, with a feline vicar in white surplice. The kittens even wear frilly knickers under their formal attire!”

The museum closed in the 1970s, relocated and briefly re-opened at the Jamaica Inn, Bodmin Moor, in 1984, where it attracted over 30,000 visitors a year. Then in 2003, the exhibits were put up for auction. The artist Damien Hirst offered to buy the complete collection for £1million, but auctioneers Bonhams sold each piece individually, raising only £500,000. Amongst the buyers were Pop Artist Peter Blake, photographer David Bailey, and comedian Harry Hill. At the time, Hirst wrote in the Guardian:

“Mr Potter’s Museum of Curiosities at Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor is a fantastic Victorian-Edwardian collection of stuffed animals and curios. There are hundreds of items, all collected or devised by the original Mr Potter, who was a self-taught taxidermist. You can see he knew very little about anatomy and musculature, because some of the taxidermy is terrible - there’s a kingfisher that looks nothing like a kingfisher. But there’s some great stuff in there, too - two-headed goats, a rhino’s head, a mummified human hand. As an ensemble, it’s just mad.

“My own favourites are these tableaux: there’s a kittens’ wedding party, with all these kittens dressed up in costumes, even wearing jewellery. The kittens don’t look much like kittens, but that’s not the point. There’s a rats’ drinking party, too - which puts a different construction on Wind in the Willows. And a group of hamsters playing cricket.

“I’ve offered £1m and to pay for the cost of the auctioneer’s catalogue – just for them to take it off the market and keep the collection intact – but apparently, the auction has to go ahead. It is a tragedy.”

Last year, a one-off exhibition was co-curated by Peter Blake, who brought Potter’s curios together at the Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill, London.

It should be noted that Potter’s museum claimed all “animals died of natural causes.”

The following film was produced by British Pathe in 1965, and describes Potter as “a genius who made fur-lined dolls into whimsical but veritable works of poetic art.” A fabulous selection of photographs from Blake’s Museum of Everything, taken by Marc Hill, can be found on the Daily Telegraph website.
 

 
With thanks to Steve Duffy
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.20.2011
11:53 am
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The Bizarre Taxidermy Of Juan Cabana
11.18.2009
04:59 pm
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Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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11.18.2009
04:59 pm
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