“When I was a young child, I spent most of my time with my nose in fairytale books. I marveled how the impossible was made possible in those stories: animals could speak, trees can proceed, and the most mundane of things could become something important and bewitching. I wanted that real life was like a fairytale.
This longing that I had as a kid has stayed with me through time, and I discover that I am constantly trying to make “real life” more enchanting and extraordinary through the artwork that I create. The artificial taxidermy art that I create is an excellent illustration of this: something commonplace and traditional is transformed into something new and exciting. I find this quote from Edgar Allen Poe pretty much sums up everything that I am about: “There is not any exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
As a someone who grew up in rural Wisconsin, I became thoroughly used to seeing taxidermy deer and game mounts – that I thought of these as standard pieces of household decor. When I was a small child they never afraid or disgusted me if anything, I felt me. That fascination stayed with me into adulthood, and it has inspired the art that I make now. When I was a teen, I fell in love with old upholstery and would often come home in flea markets and thrift shops with old seats for me to experiment. Later on, once I was in school, both pursuits happened to mesh, and that is how the very first of my upholstered animals were born”