I know what you are thinking.  How gross!  But I wanted to start this new week off with a bang. I want to introduce you an artist who has two hobbies that give me the heebie-geebies, hunting and taxidermy.

David R. Harper specializes in sculpture, drawing, and embroidery and combines them with the unappealing, self-taught hobby of taxidermy.  At 26 years old, is finishing up his Masters in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and his works are currently being shown at the Textile Museum of Canada. My question is: When will he show in an American museum?

His painstaking work takes a lot of time to perfect and complete.  One of his larger works includes a life-size horse which is made entirely out of cow hides with a Victorian woman delicately embroidered into the rear of the animal.

The Last to Win (2008)

His pelts are intricately embroidered and deliberate in their message.  They give a new spin on a luxury, giving it a rough edge with a little dab of mortality.  I love that he embroiders pictures of long-past persons on these pelts that belong to a long-past animal.  To me it is a unification of man and animal, blurring the lines that define humans from other mammals.  It’s as he is saying that we shouldn’t care about defining ourselves from our animal friends, for in the end it doesn’t matter.

Then there are David’s sculptures which echo the themes of his pelts.  However, I feel that these pieces are like a car crash: you are revolted by the sight but find it so interesting that you are unable to look away.  His sculptures are not the most beautiful by traditional standards, but definitely are stunning in their own right.

Guild (2007)

Title Unknown

Bear Skin Rug (2008)

Fox 39 (2008)

Graze (2005)

A Tribute to Canadian Rock and Roll (2005)


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