Julien Salaud

Julian Salaud is an artist working in Orléans. His work is exquisite combining taxidermy and beaded strings and sequins and threads that envelop the form in a "constellation". He calls his pieces Stellar Animals. Not only does he make incredible sculptures but he draws and has begun exploring his images in etching as well. Have a look at his website for more of his work or follow his blog to see what he's currently up to. Note that both his blog and website are in French. The gallery currently representing Julien is Suzanne Tarasieve
and you can see even more of his work there.


Josh Keyes

I have seen Josh Keyes' work before but for some reason I forgot all about it until I stumbled across his newest work while stumbling around the internet looking for inspiration. I finally checked out his website and to my delight I discovered that he has posted images from his sketchbooks as well as his finished pieces. I love seeing the process other artists use to create finished pieces. My own sketchbook is a place where I work out ideas and dump a bunch of things I find interesting until I can sort out the connections I want to make between them. Josh Keyes gives us an insight into how he works and how he formulates his paintings- a rare glimpse into the often long tangled process of creating a final work of art.

To Me, Josh's work is like little slices of the present day apocalypse. It speaks to greed and waste and although humans are not present in his work (save his self-portrait) the aftermath of our existence is overbearing in most of his paintings. Each painting is a single element that ties into the fabric of a larger more ominous narrative. The story is clear and the imagery is undeniably powerful. Make sure to visit Joh Keyes' website to see more of the story...

 Images from Josh's Sketchbooks. See more on his website.




Simen Johan

I just may have found my new favourite artist. While Simen hasn't posted any new work on his website since 2009, I am really hoping that it's because he is busy getting ready to unleash another series of mind-blowing images. I love the fact that he doesn't work in a single medium and he is able to create the gut wrenching heart-breaking work about animals that I love.  There is also some supremely creepy images of kids and and animals interacting as well as some just plain awesomely creepy stuff.

I am always so inspired when I find the work of other contemporary artists who are interested in exploring the same themes as I am and yet our works are so very different. His website is bare minimalist and showcases his work in the most simple of virtual display stripping away all the fanfare of animation and design and sticking with the very basics of a blank canvas. Incredible. Go see it when you're done admiring just a few of his amazing images I've posted here.



Tinkebell's Menagerie

OK first thing let me warn you this artist is awesome but controversial. She has been lamb-basted for unethical practices and disturbing content. I think she is brave and honest and is getting a bad rap because people don't like what she is telling them because as usual, the truth hurts. Her practice explores the relationship between humans and animals, in particular consumers and pets. She describes her practice:

The pet is developing from 'man's best friend' into a completely commodified article of consumption.

Pets are no longer bred purely for their function (think of for instance the duck hunt) but are also selected on their aesthetic value and the way in which the animal will fit its (future) urban environment.

Mankind has been trying to dominate the animal kingdom for millennia and this ongoing endeavour will eventually result in the perfect pet.
A pet that can be adjusted to the wishes and desires of its owner. A pet that will be the perfect accessory in daily (social) life.

While her methods may seem extreme I think the fact she is getting people talking (or in some circles screaming) means she hit a nerve. We don't like to see our flaws pointed out to us yet her mirror is big and shiny and bright and the ugly dark thing reflected back is ourselves.

The images here are from the baby bunnies project. For more of her incredible work visit her website.