Monday, August 29, 2011

Walter Potter

As we move further into the 21st century, it becomes obvious that as a culture, we are at a loss as to how to deal with mortality, to the point where we'd rather hide that fact behind the beauty of innovation, surgery, and media than face it as the only definite truth to our humanity. A hundred years ago, one winter could wipe out one's entire family, and the idea of death was a local, personal idea that was not shied away from. Our move away from this can be seen in the near extinction of funerals held at home, the antagonization of people who kill animals for food, and more interestingly, the demise of the taxidermist. If you have some country cousins, you may have encoutnered the eternally-bored disembodied deer head, or in my family's case--the striking rattlesnake under the glass coffee table, perfectly preserved for whatever reason. While I've previously showcased some modern taxidermy art by Sarina Brewer, recently I was introduced to the grandfather of modern taxidermy art, English artist, Walter Potter. He made most of his morbidly cute little assemblages at the height of the Victorian era when people would put these weird things under glass domes in their sitting rooms (no shit), and they really speak for themselves. If you can get over where this guy got his hundreds of dead kittens, guinea pigs, owls, frogs, and squirrels, each piece is weirdly whimsical and interesting, and incredibly detailed.

1 comment:

  1. the black and white photo is of a live rabbit, photographed by harry whittier frees. his work is also incredible. i suggest the four little kittens if you can get your hands on it.


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