heARTbeat: Enrique Gomez de Molina’s Strange Taxidermy

ColumnTaxidermy from the genus ‘Art’ and the species ‘Gomez de Molina.’

Take a look at the following creature. What exactly is, or rather was, that? A pheasant with a skunk’s tail?

Actually the above was a Golden Pheasant and ringtail cat with a hornbill being paraded about by an assortment of beetles. Such is the world of Enrique Gomez de Molina.  Nothing seems quite natural, yet all the parts are familiar, or were at some point or another.

A second-generation taxidermist, Gomez de Molina was taught by his father. His own work however, strayed from taxidermy as a job. Working with insects, birds, animals and found objects, he reinvents the trade as a surrealist art, playing god with nature in a world of many one-of-a-kind species.

Gomez de Molina explains: 

The impossibility of my creatures brings me both joy and sadness at the same time. The joy comes from seeing and experiencing the fantasy of the work but that is coupled with the sadness of the fact that we are destroying all of these beautiful things.

Gomez de Molina brings us face-to-face with the impossibility of these animals as he asks us to consider how things have gotten here on earth.

A crab inhabiting the lower half of a squirrel makes way for a rare bird indeed: one with an iguana’s tail.

At this point, we expect to be surprised by the changes that seem to occur daily given climate change and animal extinctions.

But the artist manages to remind us that too much change can make even the most beautiful parts hard to put back together again.

Check this video from Thrillist as Gomez de Molina installs an exhibition in Miami.

Images via Enrique Gomez de Molina.  Special thanks to Tommy Kane for the inspiration.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her personal blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.