Our relationship to animals fascinates me. My work explores issues such as recognition of identity, animals as food or product, anthropomorphism, and attraction/repulsion. Although animals are my subject matter, I feel my work speaks more about people.
John Morton is an American artist who works primarily in clay and makes incredible casts from the molds of carcasses skinned from the remains of animals killed and skinned for their fur. These are images from his MFA which he completed in 2010 at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. I can't wait to see the direction his work will take in the future.
His work appeals to me because it has a rawness that reflects the harsh reality of the aftermath of trapping and taxidermy. This body once removed of it's skin or commodity is then chucked into the trash. Morton's pieces utilized the byproducts of trapping, hunting and taxidermy as a way to point up, as per the show's title, the unabashed reality of mortality and the consequences of these actions writes Jamie Smith. Apparently his show, titled "Unbecoming", hit a few nerves. That interests me even more since the show was in Alaska, a place synonymous with hunting and trapping culture. Perhaps the disconcerted never consider what happens to the bodies of animals or how they might appear without their precious fur....