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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Acrobatic Taxidermy

Back in August, I dragged my sister all the way to the lovely Casa Andresen to see the work of spanish taxidermist Antonio Pérez Rodríguez. I'd been inside the house only once before, for an interactive exhibit on... yes, well, insects. I am pretty sure the target audience was "six-year olds and their parents", but I didn't let that stop me - and I ended up meeting the photographer behind Portugal's one and only butterfly field guide, so it was a pretty awesome day.

Anyway. Antonio Pérez Rodríguez started his taxidermy work with no previous training when he was fourteen, and has been going strong for forty-four years now. His specialty is what some have called "acrobatic taxidermy", or the placement of animals mid-motion, sometimes defying gravity, as if frozen in a photograph. His work is a far cry from the static, academic taxidermy you're used to finding in museums, and I will hunt and hurt whoever tells me this doesn't qualify as art, because... seriously, look at these pictures. The man is amazing.

I was blown away by the exhibit. Walking in, we were given a brief explanation of what we were about to see... and a head lantern. The animals were all set up in the dark, so it was up to us to find them as we made our way through the house. Pictures were allowed, but I confess I had a bit of a hard time taking them.

Well... if you're in Porto until November 13, I can't recommend this enough, by all means awaken your inner taxidermy connoisseur and drop by to visit these masterpieces.


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