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Dutch Artist Takes Taxidermy to a Whole New Level of Creepiness

28-year-old Noortje Zijlstra is a part of a new group of Dutch artists who are gaining recognition for their fusion of taxidermy and art. Noortje, in particular, takes the macabre practice of taxidermy to the next level – some of her pieces include a white dove’s head mounted on a shuttlecock,  a stuffed squirrel standing on its hind legs with a test tube in its throat serving as a flower holder, and a single preserved baby chicken leg mounted on a wooden stand, covered in fluffy white feathers. Her studio is also home to a family of mice with their hides replaced by decorative colored sugar.

“My work fuses taxidermy and art, sometimes creating work that may shock or even revolt, but I hope it serves as a catalyst for conversation,” she said. Her latest work involves a frozen crow carcass; she’s not yet sure what it’s going to become, but she hopes that the final piece gets people talking. During an interview with AFP, she demonstrated how she cuts into the bird’s breastbone before removing its insides. “This is what I do,” she said. “I take its ‘jacket’ off and use it as a medium for art. As soon as that happens, it ceases to be a dead animal.”

noortje-zijlstra

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Artist Turns Adorable Teddy Bears into Creepy Zombies

Nothing seems to escape the zombie epidemic sweeping the planet; not even fluffy teddy-bears. English artist Phillip Blackman uses zombie-flick special effects makeup to turn the lovable toys into creepy undead that will keep you awake at night.

45-year-old Phillip Blackman, from Suffolk, England, says the idea for his zombified teddy-bears was born from a silly joke between him and his partner. “She had a terrible cold at the time and we’d been talking about a gift for a friend’s baby. With a very stuffy nose ‘teddy-bear’ kept coming out as ‘deady-bear’, and we joked about zombie teddies that creep from under your bed at night to feast on your brains while you sleep,” the artist remembers. He eventually became quite intrigued by the idea of making undead toys, so he bought a bunch of teddy-bears from eBay. But it was during that time that his girlfriend became pregnant, and in the chaos of moving to a new house and starting a family, Phillip forgot all about his creepy projects. Years later, while sorting his son’s soft toys, he came across the teddy-bears he had bought, and decided to put the his old idea into practice. And that’s how the wonderfully-creepy Undead Teds came to be. Read More »

Mark Powell’s Hellish Dioramas Will Freak You Out

Looking at his nightmarish dioramas, you’d think Melbourne-based artist Mark Powell has been to hell and back. Bizarre, sinister and disgusting are just some of the words usually used to describe his art, but that’s most likely the reactions he was going for when he created these scenes.

Powell’s creepy dioramas are populated with monstrous characters going about their business, eating, dissecting things and even playing music in dark and disturbing basements. They remind me a little of scenes from Pan’s Labyrinth, only they’re way more troubling. The Australian artist models every one of his gory dioramas from silicone, which gives all the veiny monsters and pieces of flesh a disturbing organic look. Even though they might kill your appetite, you have to admit the level of detail in these bizarre artworks is pretty impressive. If you’ve ever imagined what hell might look like, I think Mark Powell’s masterpieces will give you a pretty good idea. Read More »

Creepy-Yet-Beautiful Ship Models Made of Human Bones by POWs

To pass the time, French prisoners held in British dungeons during the Napoleonic Wars would build intricate ship models from human and animal bones. Now these creepy works of art sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions.

While English prisoners of war spent their jail time playing sports, French POWs found a rather macabre hobby – building models of enemy ships out of bones. Although it’s recorded they were treated exceptionally well by the English, because the skirmishes between the two European forces dragged on for years some prisoners remained locked away for over a decade, so they needed something to pass the time. Prisoners would keep pig and mutton bones from the food rations issued to them by the English, boil them and bleach them in the sun. But sometimes materials from their meals weren’t enough for their detailed works of art, so they supplemented their supplies with human bones from the shallow graves around camp, uncovered by roving pigs. No one really cared where or from who the bones came from, as long as they helped finish the job.

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