Bestiary :: Customised Chimeras
Griffin by Sarina Brewer >>
I don’t really understand why people get so excited about pedigree this and purebred that. Anyone can own a pedigree; it just takes money. Where’s the challenge? Where’s the risk? Where’s the exclusivity?
No, what I want are frankenscience pets. And, synchronistically, not to mention serendipitously, I’ve stumbled on an infinitely mutable stream of unique chimeras, marvels and monsters that would make me, and MoD of course, the envy of everyone else.*
The Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists won me over immediately with their emblem alone – it’s a three-eyed deer’s head mounted on the state of Minnesota. Certainly better than having no idea.
Oh forget it!
Anywho… MART are dedicated to perfecting the fine art of oddity construction. The founding members all have portfolios just brimming over with serious credibility. And stuffed things.
Scott a. a. Bibus runs Liquid Fish Taxidermy, an enterprise dedicated to creating the most extreme taxidermy on the planet. He makes roadkill look like roadkill. Artist and naturalist Sarina Brewer recycles the natural into the unnatural. And she doesn’t waste a thing. Robert Marbury has been developing his Urban Beast Project, a visual anthology of imaginary urban beasts, since 2000 when he received a gift of 800 stuffed animals.
SCOTT a. a. BIBUS and Liquid Fish Taxidermy >>
"Sarina is a self-proclaimed science nerd who incorporates her past formal art education with her passion for biology and the bizarre. Her childhood preoccupation with cryptozoology and anomalies of nature manifest themselves in her outlandish reveries of fur and flesh and every peculiar artifact she creates. These influences, combined with a slightly warped sense of humor, have carved out an unusual niche for Sarina in the art world. She specializes in creating fictional composite animals and sideshow gaffs for discerning collectors and the many connoisseurs of the curious."
More Sarina J. Brewer @ Custom Creature Taxidermy >>
"Originally, state and national regulations on exotic pets overlooked this hybrid, but after numerous incidents laws were past banning ownership. Like their primate parent, Demon Hares make bad pets. James O ‘ Neil of Brooklyn complained to the Brooklyn Eagle in 1976 about his Demon Hare, which he referred to simply as “the Ape.” “She makes my life a misery by ripping filter tips from my cigarettes and drinking from my cans of beer.” Like many former owners, the O ‘ Neil surrendered their pet to a local animal rescue. However many were simply allowed to turn feral on the city streets."
Robert Marbury and Urban Beast >>
Bates and Marbuy are both exhibiting in the Bates Museum Cryptozoology exhibition.
“Often considered a marginalized practice or a farcical adventure, cryptozoology is the quest for unknown, rumored, or hidden animals. Its most notorious pursuits include the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Abominable Snowman, though it has also revealed animals that are now part of the classified natural world. Under the umbrella of cryptozoology this project, including a symposium, exhibition, book, and film series explores a pursuit in which the disciplines of science and art share a mutual focal point: a desperately desired visual encounter.I would give my eyeteeth to go to this show (and they would probably happily accept them and incorporate them into another bit of creative taxidermy…). But it is far too far from Terra Incognita. And inaccessible for someone with my colourful past. So I’d be thrilled to hear from or see pics if anyone else catches it.
"Cryptozoology: From Nessie to yeti," from 23.06-08.10.06 @ Bates College Museum of Art. Lewiston, ME, USA >>
Luckily they have a consolation prize for the geographically challenged amongst us. The Beast Blender. A handy little bio-engineering application that, in the words of its [self]promotion “Creates not monsters, but spectacular beasts of common animals.” Working from a palette of divers animal bits, anyone can put together the pet of their dreams. And thousands have.
The Beast Blender >>
Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists >>
* And it would put the wind right up Inky. He thinks all that kind of thing is completely unnatural. Well, it would just serve him right if MoD was stuffed to the gunnels with assorted chimera, sports, grotesques, oddities and so forth.