dreaming of a life after cubicles

rogue taxidermy art… it’s about time!
November 21, 2006, 2:37 pm
Filed under: art, weird

David Pescovitz: New York artist Takeshi Yamada creates spectacular taxidermy gaffs–frauds and fakes that are right at home in a Victorian cabinet of curiosity or PT Barnum’s American Museum of the 19th century. (Seen here, Yamada’s Human-faced fly with penny.) Culture chronicler Silke Tudor wrote a wonderful profile of Yamada in last week’s Village Voice after meeting him at a recent bizarre taxidermy confab orchestrated by BB pal Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy.


From the Village Voice profile:

Born out of the mythos of Coney Island, Yamada’s present-day cosmos includes several six-foot-long Mongolian death worms; a pair of Fiji mermaids; a two-headed baby; a hairy trout; a seven-fingered hand; fossilized fairies; jackalope stew; a five-foot-long bloodsucking chupacabra; a 16th-century homunculus; a legion of samurai warriors trapped in the bodies of horseshoe crabs; a tiny marsh dragon; a coven of freakishly large, nuclear-radiated stag beetles from Bikini Atoll; and a furry mer-bunny, all of which are brought to life using old bones, shells, resin, origami, and bits and pieces of refuse, both inorganic and fleshy.

“In the East, abnormalities are not seen as shocking,” explains Yamada as he slogs through a deep, soggy thicket behind a baseball field. “The freakish is not a bad thing. It can represent the mystery of the universe. An expression of divinity. A blessing.”

He felt a bit differently when a tiny, horn-like tumor began to grow out of his finger after he moved to Coney Island.

“Shazam!” exclaims Yamada, as he often does. “I was like jackalope!”

Link to Village Voice article, Link to Yamada’s page at Sideshow World


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I live in Brooklyn and visit many art exhibitions at galleries and museums. Takeshi Yamada is one of my favorite artists wholives in Brooklyn.

Yamada is currently featured in the ” Mythic Creatures” exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York with many other artists. (until January 6, 2008)The show could have been better if they did not highlited scientic analytical aspect too much. The Sea Rabbit (http://sideshowworld.com/TYSeaRabbit.html) and the Fiji Mermaid created by the Coney Island artist Takeshi Yamada featured in the documentary film were truly awesome. I wish his rogue/sideshow taxidermy artworks were on display there at the “Mythic Creature” exhibition. I also wish the museum had displayed more Fiji mermaids and dragonss.

I also enjoyed “Mythic Festival” held on June 24, 2007. Yamada and his several dozens of taxidermy artworks such as several dragons and Fiji mermaids were there and attracted many people at his section. Yamada’s art lecture on July 10 was also a very entertaining one (it was like a theater production of his walking around on th estage with his taxidermy pieces in his hands while he commented on them) with his many taxidermy monsters including dragons, mermaids, sea rabbits, and 32-feet giant sea serpent.

It is one of the treats to live in New York City to meet such an interesting artist like him.


Comment by Jack

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