November 18, 2009

And the Winners Are . . .

Thanks to everyone for bringing their creatures, bones, skins, and stories to the 4th-annual Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest. The competition was red in tooth and claw as judges Melissa Milgrom, Dorian Devins, and Robert Marbury viewed dozens of specimens, all vying to be the most beastly of them all. Many were worthy, but these--the fiercest--prevailed.
The Order of Carnivorous Knights Grand Prize (Best in Show) went to Ryan Matthew for Felis dancicus fighticus

Ian Maher took the Secret Science Club Prize for Best in Bones
with his goat-skull-and-crystal chandelier, "Halal."

The Rump Ape Prize for Best Hybrid Creature went to Natalie Stevens and her pal, Ralph.

Mike Zohn of Obscura Antiques (and 2007 Grand Champion) took the Rogue Taxidermy Prize, presented by the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists (MART), for his automatons--two 19th-century caged taxidermy birds that moved and sang. Check out the amazing video here.

The Most Twisted Prize, presented by MART, went to artist and 2006 Grand Champion of Taxidermy Takeshi Yamada for his stunning showmanship, sneaky sea rabbit, and collection of freakshow babies crafted from his own skin!

The Cabinet of Curiosities Prize went to Ronni Ascagni and Chrissie for their collection of weird wonders, including a cat princess and a charming double-bodied rat. Rata-two-ie

The Best Buddy audience prize went to Daisy Tainton for a group of delicate insect dioramas.

The Norman Bates Prize for Best Taxidermy went to Brooklyn-based taxidermist Melissa Dixson for her puppy on a pillow, little Chloe.
Photo credits: Felis dancicus fighticus, Goat Skull Chandelier, Automaton Birds, Takeshi Yamada, and Beast in a Box (Rats) by Tenebrous Kate; Natalie Stevens with Ralph, and Cat Princess with Friends by Jessica Elias; Insect Diorama by Daisy Tainton; and Puppy on Tuft by Eric Harvey Brown for Time Out.
Read more about the contest @ Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire!

1 comment:

juneau-vogel said...

C. and I made it. Big crowd. Highlights included:

--Return of the Japanese dude who lives in Coney Island with his Sea Rabbit plus new human infant freaks--two heads, lobster boy, mermaid girl--reportedly made from his own skin (he never throws anything away...)

--A cobra and scorpion embattled in a bottle of vodka from Vietnam (drinking from it gives you the animals powers)

--Conjoined piglets from England (super cute) that some lady bought off an unnamed British filmmaker who blamed the creature for causing his last few films to flop

--Refurb'd Victorian automaton of two singing birds in a cage (worked really well) from polar gerbil guy 2 yr ago

--6ft tall crystal and goat skull chandelier made by a Unitarian minister. He "processed" the skulls himself with the help of a Colman cooler full of flesh eating beetles in the parish house next to his church. He was selling the piece for $7,000.

--Some totally crazy lady who didn't even have an animal but went on and on about the different kinds of deer urine she was going to use to attract bucks when she goes hunting with her brothers in a couple weeks. She was terrible and got boo-ed off stage.

--An iguana that had belonged to the presenter's former girlfriend who died suddenly from "carbon monoxide poisoning or whatever it's called when the oven is left on." They'd only been dating for 8 months when she died and her parents gave him her live iguana to remember her by. He re-named the iguana Christina after the deceased. It died, he had it stuffed. When he finished this story he invited the audience to sing along to his tribute song for her--"I Will Always Love You."

--This guy was followed by a Bolivian girl who supposedly found a fierce looking fish on the beach as a teen. Her mother told her to toss it but she was stubborn and brought it to her grandfather who preserved it for her. She named the fish Christina. Years later when the grandpa died and the mother was missing her dad the girl tried to give her mom the fish as a remembrance but the mom was still horrified and rejected it. These two stories were both very detailed, involved animals named Christina, and oddly followed each other. They were some of the best stories of the night too so C. and I decided they were probably a team of performance artists who made up the stories as some sort of acting exercise.

Overall, another unique and strange event.