Despite having been around since the early 1800′s, taxidermy’s been enjoying (or would be enjoying, were it alive) a resurgence in expensive/trendy circles as of late. It’s increasingly impossible to sip an artisanal cocktail in this town without starting into the cold, dead eyes of someone’s hunting trophy. Is it an ironic comment on masculinity, like, “hey, remember when men needed to kill things to get their dicks hard and aren’t you glad I’m secure enough to wear pink v-necks and necklaces now let’s bewne?” Or maybe it’s more like, “death is an immutable, terrifying fact we all must face no matter how rich we are so let’s make awkward jokes about it as we sip $20 glasses of booze we cannot take with us to Hell”?
No matter the cause, it’s not going away yet, and has now made it into the realm of high fashion. Avant-garde artiste Reid Peppard has created a line of high end accessories made from some rather un-high end materials: rats with wings, as well as plain old rats. Because “I want that thing dead and in my hair” is exactly what I think when I see a pigeon rooting through my trash.
On closer examination of her website, though, I’m taken with the beauty of some of the pieces. Maybe I’ve just got a thing for gingers, but that model has a darkly mythical quality about him, like some brooding, Goth demigod with wings on his head who wants to me to climb up to his tastefully done tree house and teach him to love. And Peppard herself gains points for this interview with Lisa Carver wherein she states she wants her head shrunken and her hand turned into a catchers’ mitt after death. A hypocrite she is not!
Anyone who thinks this is “wrong” should note she doesn’t kill the animals, but finds them, though anyone who eats meat, wears leather or has ever used an exterminator wouldn’t be able to say shit about it if she did. If taxidermy’s sticking around for a while, we might as well get it with a dose of tasteful whimsy.