Jaap Sinke and Ferry van Tongeren are Dutch artists who have chosen taxidermy as their medium (the Darwin of the title is a cheeky reference to Charles Darwin, who they count as a co-founder).
They contrive to re-imagine their own Old Masters in a three-dimensional palette of beautiful creatures saved from the garbage can, re-born in all their finery. At the root of their work is their belief that Nature is the greatest artist of them all.
The photographs shown here are directly related
to the DS&vT taxidermy process, which requires enormous patience and dedication. Before being mounted, the animal, reptile and bird skins are carefully bathed to ensure they are as clean and bright as possible. While these empty pieces of skin float in the soapy water, Sinke and van Tongeren revive them back to life by letting them perform graceful poses which seem to create a unique sort of water ballet. The two artists capture the magic of these poetic and mesmerising creations with bold and spectacular photographs.
The first collection of DS&vT photographic prints was released last year and bought avidly by collectors,including Damien Hirst who paid tribute to their artistic vision by investing in a complete set. Itssuccess inspired Sinke and van Tongeren to explore the concept further, striving for poses that are – as the titles suggest – Unknown. The paradox is that these floating skins achieve compositions that are equal to the beauty of the original creature, but in a sense exist in a parallel plane to them.
All photographs are limited to 10 prints per image in two sizes, signed and numbered. Museum quality framing is optional.