Born and bred in Wisconsin, artist Kelly Jelinek grew up around plenty of taxidermied animals brought home from hunting trips.
As a child growing up in rural Wisconsin, I was thoroughly accustomed to seeing taxidermy deer and game mounts – I thought of them as standard items of household decor. Even when I was a small child they never scared or disgusted me – if anything, they fascinated me. That fascination stayed with me into adulthood, and has inspired the artwork that I make today.
But the love for animal busts just didn’t quite jive with her love for living animals.
Jelinek came up with a novel solution, using her upholstery background to create lifelike yet surreal lions, deer, and bears covered much like an old armchair. No animals are harmed in any of her ‘Faux Taxidermy’ sculptures, but they still communicate that warm, hunting lodge aesthetic beautifully.
To create her works Jelinek uses many of the artificial animal parts you’d find in traditional taxidermy, like realistic plastic eyeballs. For the antlers that appear in her work, she sources the real thing from flea markets or from antlers shed naturally. In some examples she creates resin antlers cast from a trophy size 15-point rack.
(via The Creators Project)