Rogue Taxidermy

Nate Hill describes himself as a rogue taxidermist. He rummages through trash looking for dead animals: fish, dogs, cats, etc. Whatever he finds, he stitches together to form a bizarre new creature. From a recent AP article about him:

"I'm totally self-taught," he said. "To put it simply, what I do is cut up the animals, I sew them together in a different way, and then I submerge them in rubbing alcohol to preserve them."
He considers himself a member of a loosely defined group of "rogue taxidermists" who sidestep the traditional craft of taxidermy that aims to make lifelike replicas by preserving and stuffing animal skins. Along with the garbage cans of Chinatown, he said gets most of his animals from hunters, roadkill and taxidermists...
Hill said he felt more like a "folk" artist, given his lack of formal training in the arts. His intent, he said, is similar to "the guy who sits in his basement and has his train set, and he has all the people and he makes mountains ... that's the kind of thing that I want, but I want to make it with real flesh."

Nate is a star member of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, which describes itself as: "a veritable rout dedicated to a shared mandate to advocate the showmanship of oddities; espouse the belief in natural adaptation and mutation; and encourage the desire to create displays of curiosity."

They have some interesting items for sale in their gift shop, such as a 2-headed chick, a skinned squirrel head fridge magnet, and a frog eating human toes.

Animals Art

Posted on Wed Feb 06, 2008


So he does exactly what Boo does with teddy bears but just with real ones!
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Thu Feb 07, 2008  at  02:29 AM
Speaking of teddy bears, some of those...components don't look like they came off an animal, unless it's an animal that wears plush. It's hard to tell from the photo, of course.
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Thu Feb 07, 2008  at  08:31 AM
You've already reported on this. Actually the MoH turned me on to MART and rogue taxidermy about a year and a half ago. It had something to do with a fiji mermaid repro. Keep spreading the good news though!
Posted by Fuzzfoot  in  Potland, OR  on  Thu Feb 07, 2008  at  11:20 AM
"Self-taught" is a bit of a stretch. That term normally refers to people who have actually learned how to do something. "I don't have any idea what taxidermists do" would be a better way to put it.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Turkey, Texas  on  Thu Feb 07, 2008  at  06:07 PM
looking at some of the galleries on the site, im completly disgusted and appaled, yet intruiged at the same time. its an odd feeling.
Posted by Cleverplane  in  Right In The Frickin' Middle Of Hickville, PA  on  Thu Feb 07, 2008  at  07:39 PM
i actually went on one of his chinatown foraging tours. it was awesome if you can stomach it and a great way to turn 'trash' into something cool and artistic. i've still got some frogs heads in my freezer that will get the attention they deserve any day now...
Posted by cdn204  in  NYC  on  Thu Feb 14, 2008  at  02:35 PM
There was an awesome and creepy annual rogue taxidermy contest last year at the Union Hall in Brooklyn. Nate Hill and Takeshi Yamada (Grand Champion of the previous year) are Brooklyn-based craziest artists I met in New York City.

Hill saws dead animals' body parts together and pickles them in a bottle and call it artwork. His website is creepy but interesting. It seems what he doing (China Town tour and his youtube videos are good examples) is more like performance art. ( I had a pretty good time at his tour last month.

Yamada creates extremely realistic specimen models (he prefers using the term "sideshow gaffs") of mainly mythic creatures and extinct animals by using natural (dead animals' body parts) & man-made materials and show them at museums (including American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan), art galleries, universities, libraries, nature centers, etc. He seems very active guy.
( I had a good time at Yamada's lecture on the rogue taxidermy at the American Museum of Natural History last year. I was especially impressed by his rogue taxidermies of mummified Fiji mermaid (6 feet), the giant sea serpent (35 feet) and Japanese warrior's mask painted on the horseshoe crab among his many artworks on display there.

I am looking forward to meeting more crazy taxidermy artists and vampires at the next taxidermy contest.
Posted by Jack  in  Brooklyn, NY  on  Wed May 07, 2008  at  06:25 AM
Just goes to prove that one mans trash really is another treasure! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!
Posted by taxidermy  in  on  Wed Nov 04, 2009  at  12:25 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.