Taxidermy with human faces: artist makes harmonious chimera from natures and mankind
Artist Kate Clark makes taxidermy with human faces. Working out of Brooklyn, NY, Kate explains her hide, foam, clay, rubber eyes, thread and pins sculptures:
When encountering my sculptures, the viewer is faced with a lifelike fusion of human and animal that investigates which characteristics separate us within the animal kingdom, and more importantly, which unite us. The sculptures visually, emotionally and intellectually explore this overlap that exists across cultures, along histories, and within societies.
Our current lifestyle does not necessitate physical interaction with wild animals. Yet we revere the natural world and are seduced by characteristics we no longer see in ourselves, such as fierceness, instinctiveness, purity. I work with hide to create traditionally mounted animal bodies, utilizing the impetus for taxidermy: our endless curiosity to see animals, and our desire to celebrate their unique features.
The unexpectedness of the human face on these animals also evokes curiosity. They are obviously reconstructed yet they are not monstrous, they are approachable, natural, calm, innocent, dignified. The facial features are believable and the skin, which is the animal’s skin, has been shaved to reveal porous and oily features that we recognize as our own. The viewer has an intimate relationship with the face and then identifies with the animal, acknowledging the animalistic inheritance within the human condition.
They are beautiful: