Thursday, October 30, 2008

T. S. R. (Emily's Pick) - Happy Halloween

I stumbled upon a page called "A Case of Curiosities" while looking up some taxidermy-inspired inspiration. "A Case of Curiosities" seems to belong to an individual known as T. S. R., a San Francisco native who is infatuated with "18th and 19th century French, German and Russian fairy tales, the curiosity cabinets of the 16th-19th centuries, Victorian grotesque and anthropomorphic taxidermy, reliquaries, surrealism and a touch of the circus sideshow." Sounded like it was right up my alley.

What makes T. S. R.'s work special is not necessarily his taxidermy skill, but rather the mood elicited through his pieces. They make me feel, personally and honestly, weird. What on earth is happening in this "Birmingham Diva" pigeon assemblage (with the red background)? I think what really changes these pieces and drags them from typical "cutesy" anthropomorphized taxidermy are details like the tiny rodent skeleton clutched in her hands. T. S. R. excels in Alice in Wonderland, surreal-style horror show stuff that is delightfully grotesque. It doesn't make you want to be sick, but it is distinctly off-putting.

Though they seem to live in entirely different worlds, I would compare T. S. R. to Casey's pick, Sandy Litchfield. Her paintings allow the viewer a new view of the world around them, giving life and movement to typically stoic and unfeeling topographical maps. T. S. R. also gives life and movement to the stoic and unfeeling, only creepier.

If you're feeling brave, see more of T. S. R.'s work here: A Case of Curiosities.

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