Being an ‘artiste’ is not an easy thing. At a book store I saw salmon print art that someone made by inking the side of a fish and pressing it to paper making a beautiful wall motive. I thought to myself “Hey, I can do something even better than that!”
Ever the intrepid doer I went out and got the necessary paper and utensils to set up shop myself. Of course, things always seem easier than they actually are. Mistakes were made along the way. Starting out using a moose was perhaps the smartest idea. A smaller animal would have been more practical. For one thing, nobody sold paper big enough for it. Using a moose that was already dead would probably have been wiser too.
Live ones, I soon found out, don’t like being tipped over. In fact, they don’t like much of anything that you try to do with them. They wiggle around a lot which tends to mess up the true artistry of what one is trying to achieve. I’m sure the originator of the salmon prints used dead
fish to get that fineness of execution they had and not the blurred sensation that I got from dealing with a writhing, increasingly hostile live subject.
Using a live moose as an instrument of artistic creation also brought in extra, unforeseen costs. To have broken ribs and bones set is expensive in our modern society, not to mention exquisitely painful.
Difficulties were also presented for the paramedics who arrived and were not used to first having to remove a tipped over moose from the person they are needing to treat.
This is a situation seemingly not well covered in paramedic classes as there was a lot of time wasting head scratching and blatant cursing that ensued. All of this still did not even begin to figure in the cost of a tow truck and lift operators who were unfamiliar with the dynamics of lifting up a 1,200 pound squirming mass of future roast meat that was not keen on being there in the first place.
The next brilliant attempt at this form of artistic expression went somewhat better. Using a much smaller animal made a big difference. There might have been a better choice available than a wolverine though. Again, it might have been wiser to use one that was already dead.
Wolverines are much smaller, but not necessarily easier to handle. I now see why people never have these things as pets. you’d never get a collar on one. In fact, you’d probably never use that hand again that you used to try to put the collar on with.
A tip for anyone who does decide to get a wolverine for a pet- they really, really, really, really, really do not like being turned on their backs. Actually, much like the moose, they do not like much of anything you
try to do with them. And they let you know that.
Wolverines will definitely let you know where they are coming from. And where you shouldn’t be coming from.
The artwork did turn out very interesting. The combination of the texture of the wolverines fur and my blood splatters made for a unique contrast. (A note to my landlady in case she is reading this- I did
clean it all up).
The prints became an arresting conversation piece. At first it was just a conversation piece to the police arresting me and to the neighbors who had heard the screaming and called them. It then became a great matter of discussion for the local mental health authorities.
Even the local chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had something to say about it, most of which I transferred over to my lawyers. But soon it reached it’s way up the social spiral to those true connoisseurs of art amongst whom it became a hot topic of appraisal, mostly in low snickers.
A number of national publications took an interest in the work and did pictorials thereof; MAD magazine and National Enquirer to name a couple.
As for future projects, I have found road kill a much safer medium with which to work. It offers a vast array of different but most importantly dead material with which to work. Unfortunately the subject is often radically disproportionate to it’s natural state, but I just label it ‘natural abstraction’. Again, moose, even when dead, are still difficult to
My first exhibition- “Bears With Tread Marks’ will open soon.