Human-Looking Faces on Animal Bodies: Taxidermy as Art
In a bright, dusty loft next to the Brooklyn Navy Yard there is a studio that houses a menagerie of zebras, wolves, cougars, bears, greater kudu, gemsboks, baboons, and springbok. Except these animals are motionless and boast something never seen in nature: a human face.
The word “taxidermy” originates from the Greek words taxi and derma and translates to “the arrangement of skin.” A traditional taxidermist will tan the animal’s hide, removing the flesh and cartilage to preserve the skin and fur, before draping it around a foam body made to look like the animal in real life. But artist Kate Clark does things differently.
Instead of fresh hides, she recycles old ones that are considered imperfect for the typical purposes