For some people, taxidermy might just involve a specimen, some glue, stuffing, and sewing. But to those who appreciate taxidermy, they consider it an art form. To simplify, use the fundamental elements of architecture and other works of fine art: form, texture, color, space, and lines. What makes the end products sublime in their own way is how these elements are put to use.
High Art in the Postmodern Era
These days, you can see that taxidermy is widely used in art galleries and museums. Taxidermy by Dourlain says that from a sub-cultural art form, it’s been elevated to the status of high art, especially in the postmodern era.
Compared to the context it exudes when displayed in science and natural history museums, the ones exhibited at art galleries give taxidermy specimens the freedom to flourish and promote creativity and obscurity.
The Viewer’s Response to the Obscure
Taxidermists like Damien Hirst became brave enough to showcase his works in an unusual way. His methods often shocked and repulsed the viewers, causing them to worry and not get his dark humor. The first time he set his installation, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” in 1991, he effectively introduced the preservation method as innovations in both concept and medium.
This also triggered a lot of disdain from the audience. Because of its concept of the macabre, it didn’t appeal to people that much, as the exhibit featured “death on display,” which was detested by many.
In recent years, not all artists follow this trend of making their audience squeamish. It still surprises many people, but they have proven it to be more versatile as a medium and just one purely used to repulse and shock. Some have used it to raise awareness while others used it to showcase their concerns about humanity’s intervention with nature.
People can view these specimens or buy them as displays. More and more people are also turning this hobby into a profession, which only means that taxidermy is not dead and there is still room for it to flourish.