Brooklyn based artist Kate Clark’s work can best be described as unexpected, unsettling but absolutely original and captivating. From afar they look like every day normal examples of taxidermy. However, a closer inspection is necessary for the full power of Kate’s work to be appreciated. Using ethically sourced animal hides wrapped around a clay base, they all have the most startlingly realistic human faces. The faces are sculpted using a live model as a reference and then facial skin from the animal hide is cut and stitched in place. Ears and horns are then later attached.
Kate says of her work, “I leave as much fur and patterning as I can, yet I want the human features to be clear and the skin to read as oily and porous, reflecting our skin. The process of sculpting the face takes months: I work until the transition of human/animal is smooth, striving for a balance of familiar yet unfamiliar, beautiful yet unnerving, lifelike and believable yet clearly constructed.”
Kate’s aim is to force us to explore our relationship with nature and our own origins. She says, “we revere the natural world and are seduced by characteristics we no longer see in ourselves, such as fierceness, instinctiveness, purity.”