This Little Light of Mine-



both front

Well, this little light of Harriett’s, actually.  She’s the 80 pound goat I took from my lovies up at The Farmer’s Husband after she expired during childbirth.  I fashioned her hide & head into a rug which has turned into a rather complex project involving fiber optic lights and whatnot, and her feet have been spun into candle holders:



gem detail


Please pardon the waxy bits I forgot to dust off before photographing, I was too excited by how festive the red candles look with these hooves.

left then rear

These are just two of Harriett’s four peds, I am in the midst of fashioning the other two into candle holders as well. I’m quite smitten with the idea of honoring this beloved goat with light.



sans sticks


Last Ride

I recently collaborated with fellow artist and compadre Andria Morales on a performance piece titled “Last Ride”.  Formerly known as Andria Biblioni, Ms. Morales wanted to mark the moment in her life where her maiden name (and previous self) ceased to exist.  We both share a fascination with death and how we as humans approach/accept it within our various cultures.   Coming from a Puerto Rican background, Andria has personal experience with the practice of posing for photographs “with ” the departed at their funeral.  Being of Irish and German descent myself, there aren’t any notable funeral practices I’ve personally experienced.  I still think the act of embalming is extremely bizarre, and dare I say…pointless?

Which is why I’m all for the outrageous viewing displays created by Marin Funeral home in Puerto Rico:

If you’re going to embalm a body, why not make it interesting?

All of this led to us performing a “viewing” for Andria where we transformed the space at local venue the Rotunda to look like a funeral home.  This required some manual labor, elbow grease, and the occasional frightening ladder climb by yours truly:

I designed the ensemble and provided the taxidermy mounts scattered throughout the scene for ambience.  Here is our subject, looking positively stiff.

We got a decent crowd of friends and relatives flowing in and out to pay their respects; my favorite was dear friend Bailey Hale and Jennifer Cohen who came with the two little ones in tow.  I believe she said something about opting for the fake viewing over gymboree that day.  The tots were stoked.

Every viewing has its downtime.

The view from behind:

Another mourner:

More photos HERE.

This event was several weeks ago and this past Friday the gallery edition of “Last Ride” opened at Air Space which is where Andria currently resides as an artist in residence.  We basically recreated the Rotunda set-up with some tweaking, including substituting a mannequin for Andria, who stoically held still like a real body (with my rigging help) throughout the entire two-hour original viewing.

Now that she has ascended, Ms. Morales is currently entrenched in some other activities with artist Maya Escobar.  You can learn more by checking out their Are You My Other (self portrait dialogue exchange) project and the AMerican MEdia Output project .

Artist Honored Riding a Sound Blasting Vehicle at a Viewing

Andria Bibiloni, 28, of New York, ceased to exist on Mar. 23, 2011 in Philadelphia, where she lived since 2000.  A visual artist and educator, she strove through her work to facilitate a dialog about sociopolitical and interpersonal issues. Known for riding her Blasterbike, 2007, in the streets of Philadelphia, her departing wish was to be displayed riding a bigger, louder, and heavier soundblasting vehicle.  Beth Beverly of Diamond Tooth Taxidermy will be handling the preparations for the viewing, which takes place at the Rotunda in University City on Sunday March 27 from 3-5 pm.  Guests are invited to stay for refreshments.


“You’re bein’ too feminine with it.”

Today I finished skinning my fox, and de-greased/fleshed the pelt.  Here’s a pile of some of the scraped out residue:

That oblong red object in the center would be a fox penis.

I chose a mount in a supine position with one leg curled under its body. This made sewing up the legs a little tricky, but I was up for the challenge.  Unfortunately I was taking too much time and my instructor was getting on me about it, reminding me of the perils of lolly-gagging with skin.

I managed to get him sewn up almost all the way, and had to store him in a cool spot overnight.  I really need to pick up the pace.

My thoughts drifted a lot today as I wrestled with my moral boundaries, and where I’m comfortable setting them.  I hate that fur-bearing animals, like fox, mink, racoon and possum, are typically caught in traps.  It breaks my heart to imagine  this creature snagged by the neck or paw, waiting for the trapper to come finish it off.  I see so much roadkill everyday and am repeatedly thankful for the millions of happy accidents that placed me in the life I have today, as a human, on top of the food  chain, living my dream and doing it quite comfortably.  I silently apologise and thank each animal I skin, imagining a different scenario in which I as a human would be out for a stroll and then snap-my foot is caught in a trap and I wait around for two, four, maybe ten hours before something comes along with a giant rock to break my back.  Or if I was sitting in my living room one day and some mammoth space craft landed right on top of my home, crushing it and my family. The thing is, I love taxidermy.  And I am really, really, good at it.  I don’t want to stop.  And I am okay with they fact that death is part of the circle of life.  I just have to figure out where to set my moral boundaries in terms of justifying killing.  I think as long as I face it head-on, and am honest with myself about the fact that this isn’t a pretty craft, and as long as I remain thankful and appreciate the fact that what I do costs lives, I’ll be on the right track.

When I got home I finished watching “This is it.”  It was decent, as far s the dancing and how involved a production the whole thing was, but I found it creepy watching MJ dance suggestively with women.