Tooth Jewelry

Two of my biggest obsessions in life are jewelry and the slightly macabre. I’ve seen many pieces of taxidermy and bone jewelry, but my absolute favorite has to be human tooth jewelry. There is just something even more creepy about wearing human bone…maybe even more in that it’s a bone we see every day.

The fact that we do see teeth everyday lends itself to become somewhat boring. It is ashame because teeth are probably some of the most ornate bones we have…which begs the question, why not make them into jewelry?!?

I’ve seen pieces tastefully done, and others not so tastefully (no pun intended)…i guess a lot of it lies in the final presentation. Simply stringing a tooth can look to “sharktooth-ish” or it might have the perfect simplistic look. It’s tryly touch and run.

Nonetheless, tooth jewelry is absolutely wonderful and can be worn anytime. It reminds me of ivory in its color and texture (probably because they’re both bone =P). Anyhow, you should try this trend…we all already are rocking it in some way ;)

-C

Pics:

http://www.thefrisky.com/2011-07-23/do-not-want-a-ring-you-can-sink-your-teeth-into/

http://www.tribalmania.com/FIJIANTOOTHNECKLACE.htm

http://lovelydeadandgone.tumblr.com/page/4

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William Bishop Ford

A common form of art in the 16th-19th century was portrait miniatures. Women would keep them of their husbands who were in the army or away and men would carry ones to remind them of their families. Another popular use was to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one.

Because of the enormous sentimental value and personal attachment to portrait miniatures I was determined to find myself one. Even though I cannot express how much I adore these tiny masterpieces, I was a bit nervous about acquiring one. For the same reasons I love them (their personal value), I also feel that it is difficult to possess something that meant so much to someone.

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It took me about a year to find the perfect one, but eventually I did. The one I found was of three whippets. Perfect, I thought, because animals have a very close connection with their owners, but it is not like I am carrying someone’s husband around on my collar.

(this one’s mine!! =D)

When I first purchased my portrait miniature, I was unaware of who had painted it or how old it was. The back on it had been replaced at some point in time (probably very early 20th century), and was sealed. Being too afraid to remove the backing, for fear of damaging the piece, I decided to research it solely on its technique, medium, and subject.

I was genuinely shocked when I found who I was definite is the artist. I never expected to be able to come up with a definite answer, but there is no doubt about it…my miniature was painted by William Bishop Ford.

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Ford was a British artist who lived between the years of 1832 and 1922. He was a specialist painter of miniature enamels. He apprenticed under William Essex (who perfected the technique of reverse essex glass painting, which is how mine if done). His subjects included many animals as well as people, and the framing used is unmistakable.

This piece has become one of my most prized possessions. I feel such a personal connection to it and am proud to wear it frequently.

-C

Photo Credits:

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery & my collection

Kehinde Wiley: Tradition Takes a Modern Form

Kehinde Wiley

So you all know that we, over here on Taxidermy and the 20th Century, love things oldey-timey. But we don’t just love the unusal ancient things and spend all of our time poring over old books and old things and old stuff. Sometimes, we like to see how the ancient and the traditional merges with the modern, and that’s how I give you Kehinde Wiley. Wiley likes the same things that we do here at Taxi20: the old and the new. However, he takes it a step further. He gives people of black heritage, specifically those with an African American culture, the same sort of traditional paintings that white people have had throughout their history.

Kehinde Wiley

I mean, anyone who has studied Art History or European History (or perhaps even World History) can recognise the painting to my left. It’s Napoleon crossing the Alps to lead his French soldiers into battle against the other empires of Europe. It’s a painting that clamours of glory and pride, and Kehinde Wiley repaints it with a major change; we see that a camo-donned African American has taken the place of Napoleon.

Suddenly, Kehinde Wiley has placed a member of his own race as the leader of national pride and liberty. By mixing these two different ideas of black culture and classical portraiture, Wiley brings the gift of classical pride to blacks. He’s shouting that his culture and heritage is something to be proud of!

Kehinde Wiley

Wiley doesn’t just paint African Americans, though. He paints also Afro-Brazilians, Ethiopian Jews, and a whole slew of other varieties of people with black heritage. We live in a modern world that is both teeming with racism and adamant that the issue is one of the past, not of today. But as retroverts and antiquophiles (two new words I have made up), the bloggers here at Taxi20 can tell you that the past and the present are deeply intertwined. It’s motions like this, where black culture is given the same pride and status as classical white culture, that help to blur the boundaries that exist in society today.

-A.

Photos Courtesy Of:

A’s Art Portfolio

So many of you have been following us through our exploration of art, cooking, theatre, crafts, oddities, and all sorts of interesting things. Since I know that quite a few of our followers appreciate art, I’d like to show you some of my own today! These are all pieces of various sizes and mediums that I have done over the past two years. I’ll upload a few and give a brief description of the piece, as well as any interesting things I can remember about making them.Image

This piece is a depiction of a picture frame wrapped in white paper and tied with white string. It’s about 24×18″ and completely mixed media. As it was an exam, I had 4 hours to do this piece. Some of my materials include black pastel, charcoal powder, conte, pencil, ink wash, and coloured pencil. Clearly, I deeply exaggerated the forms to make the painting as dramatic as possible, rather than the subtle, understated forms that my peers attempted. I’m particularly fond of the deep gouges in the lower left quadrant. It seems almost violent.

This next piece, more abstract in nature, was made with soft pastels and ink. It is approx. 30×24″ in measurement, and took me about 8 hours. I’m fond of the ghost shapes of ink drippings and splatterings behind the pastels, along with the various ghostly shapes that occur, such as the semicircle in the upper right hand quadrant.

This was one of my first explorations of abstract art. To come to this piece, I did over 200 smaller pieces with less detail, which are now stacked up in my studio. Such a mess!

I adore abstract art, despite having a background in more classical oil painting. The sheer emotion, unadulterated by simple realistic depiction. However, I’d like to introduce you to a few of my more classically influenced places.

These pieces are relatively small, about 6×12″, and made of watercolour, coloured pencil, pencil, and salt. Starting with calligraphic marks, I then began to combine the calligraphic marks with the mollusks. Yay, mollusks!

This piece is particularly large, about 18×12″ and made of pencil and pen. I did a whole series of human-animal composite images on dense patterns, and while this was one of my earliest, it is also one of my favourites. The awkward, unorthodox combination of the classical figure drawing, surreal dense pattern, and what I like to consider to be relatively realistic animal heads always gets me interesting reactions!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my artwork rather than seeing someone you already know! Cheers.

-A.

Tattoo Mania!

I have always had a strange fascination with tattoos. I can guarantee myself that I would never have the nerve to get one, but I do adore many that I have seen. Here are a few of my favorites that I have spotted online (some I love for their beauty and others solely for their originality)…

I’m sorry I couldn’t post more! This week has been super busy preparing for exams….my post on tuesday probably will be pretty short too…but I promise a super duper post for next Saturday!!!!

-C

Sources:

http://www.dollymix.tv/2008/10/picture_question_would_you_get.html

http://peas-and-love.blogspot.com/2010/03/tattooooos.html

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/outsapop/5131568398/