Miami artist Enrique Gomez de Molina creates sculptures from animal parts.
Okay, that sounds weirder than it actually is. He’s a taxidermist – he learned the trade from his father – which means he uses deceased animals’ corpses to create art by preserving them and putting them in lifelike poses. The difference is that museums try to recreate life, whereas De Molina creates fantasy creatures by combining the pieces of very different animals. “I guess I wasn’t a serious taxidermist,” he said in an interview with Thrillist (embedded below), “I used to like to play around and mix and match different animals and create my own species.”
He says on his website, “The impossibility of my sculpture brings me both joy and sadness at the same time. The joy comes from seeing and experiencing the Fantasy of the work but that is coupled with the sadness of the fact that we are destroying all of these beautiful things.”
Well apparently, he didn’t have a license for all that joy and sadness. It wasn’t the taxidermy itself that was the issue, but rather the illegal import of endangered, exotic animal parts. After a late November arrest, De Molina has plead guilty to the charges, and faces up to five years in prison and a quarter of a million dollars in fines. He faces sentencing in March. (Images below are from the artist’s official website.)