The practice of traditional taxidermy, while more than a little creepy as a home decorating touch, has a long history rooted in the practice of preserving trophies from a hunt. The modern development of the craft comes from the desire of natural scientists to preserve specimens of various birds and animals and dates back to the 17th century.
During the 19th century, taxidermy entered the realm of museum-quality art through displays at venues such as Maison Verreaux in Paris and Ward's Natural Science Establishment. Perhaps the most famous American practitioner, Carl E. Akeley, is credited with developing the taxidermic method of mounting museum displays to demonstrate how animals looked in their natural surroundings. Akeley's method of mounting a creature's skin on a detailed replica of the body of an animal resulted in startling, if discomfiting, realism.
Now a pair of artists, Linlin and Pierre-Yves Jacques, taking their cues from the past and utilizing 3D printing technology, have put their own spin on the practice using what they call a focus on "nature, knowledge, and human feelings."
The pair have made a series of 3D sculptures which include replicas of deer, bears and elephants which are meant to be wall mounted. The taxidermy they create is lit from inside to reveal the lacy structure of the pieces.
Linlin, who holds a Masters degree in Digital Creation, and Pierre-Yves, who earned his degree in Visual 3D Production, presented their first work, entitled Bird Travel, at the Asian 3D design fashion show put on by Materialise Malaysia during June of last year.
While the pair are now working together to create a line of jewelry, they've worked since 2009 testing the artistic and commercial limits of 3D modeling and 3D printing for various international artists. The pair, who live just outside Paris, France, create their 3D printed art from polyamide, and they don't come cheap.
The pieces range in price from $2,000 to $6,000, but they do have, aside from their artistic merit, one critical virtue. The busts provide the appeal of taxidermy, such as it might be, without including the hairy, glassy-eyed horror of traditional pieces of the art.