No Animals Harmed in the Making of This Gorgeous Taxidermy

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Photos: Little Stag Studio

Taxidermy and cruelty-free aren’t words you would normally bunch together, but in Kelly Rene Jelinek’s work, it’s pretty much a reality. In her taxidermy series, abstract realism breathes life into these artistic wonders – and you might even mistake them for the real deal. But fret not, animal lovers, because these animals are purely the work of Jelinek’s imagination.

Jelinek was inspired way back when she was a little girl, when she was enchanted by talking animals, moving trees and magical objects in fairytales, when her world was so ordinary by contrast.

“I wished that real life was like a fairytale,” she said, adding that it was a longing that persisted throughout her life.

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She adds, “I find that I am constantly trying to make "real life" more magical and extraordinary through the artwork that I create. The faux taxidermy art that I create is a great example of this: something traditional and commonplace is transformed into something new and exciting. I find that this quote from Edgar Allen Poe pretty much sums up everything that I am about: There is no exquisite beauty... without some strangeness in the proportion.”

As someone raised in rural Wisconsin, Jelinek was used to taxidermy deer and game mounts, and never thought much of them other than ordinary, run-of-the-mill decorations for one’s home. Combined with her love for old upholstery, like takeaways from thrift stores which she experimented on, she soon created her first upholstered animal models.

Flash forward to the present, and we are able to feast our eyes on this gorgeous taxidermy, masterful works of art which are also cruelty-free. Jelinek, Kelly’s last name, also means "little stag" in Czech. Talk about true calling!

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