(ANIMAL RIGHTS) A bizarre New Zealand taxidermist, Andrew Lancaster, caused a stir after unveiling his latest creation, a $1,000 rug made from a roadkill tabby cat. The new design is only one in many eyebrow-raising works, such as a chicken with a possum head, and a bird wearing a doll’s head. Lancaster’s “art” bears a creepy resemblance to the notorious Dutch artist, Katinka Simonse, who kills animals “in the name of performance art.” It is unclear if Lancaster only uses roadkill, but regardless, his work is extremely inappropriate and disrespectful to the animals he commodifies. Read on for Lancaster’s response to his critics. — Global Animal
New York Daily News, Adam Edelman
An avant-garde taxidermist in New Zealand has sold his most unusual creation yet — a rug made from the skin of a roadkill kitty cat — for nearly $1000, igniting outrage among animal lovers furious over the feline floor covering.
The bizarre rug is only the most recent unusual creation by Kiwi taxidermist Andrew Lancaster, who sold the item Tuesday evening on Kiwi online auction site TradeMe for $955.
The rug, resembling a traditional bearskin rug (only, made from a Tabby cat), is essentially a flattened and gutted cat, whose outstretched limbs extend from a lifeless furry body.
The head has been stuffed, give it a terrifying life-life quality, while the rug’s intense green eyes stare directly at the viewer.
Lancaster said he found the large male cat on the side of a highway on New Zealand’s North Island last month, and figured it, too, could become art.
“I thought ‘that’s a pretty nice-looking cat,’ did a U-turn and picked it up,” he said. “The cat must have been run straight over as there was no broken skin, but bruising inside.”
Lancaster, who has, in the past, gained notoriety, and acclaim, for other astonishing creative feats, including a series of stuffed rodent-bird hybrids, got to work immediately, transforming the carcass into a full-out rug, that, he wrote, is a “a great little gift for the man-cave.”
Auckland-based printer Ian James apparently agreed with the description and outbid more than 250 other would-be buyers with a winning bid of $955.
More than 10,800 people reportedly viewed the rug before the auction closed.
The cat-skin rug, however, was only the most recent unusual creation made by Lancaster, a self-described “wild and wacky” taxidermist.
In what some have said could be scenes from an animal-infused nightmare, other Lancaster creations have included a possum-headed chicken with vampire teeth and a small-bird with the head of a child’s doll.
The U.K.-born expat has often attracted attention from animal-rights groups in the past for some of his more eccentric works, including a hybrid creation featuring a doll’s face sewn to the stuffed body of a dead possum.
After a photo of that concoction went viral, animal lovers took to social media to denounce the work and call the artist a “sicko.”
This time around, New Zealand animal advocacy group SAFE, led the charge.
“There is also something distasteful about the attitude shown to an animal once it has died, as the description is lighthearted and not respectful,” said SAFE spokesman Eliot Pryor.
But Lancaster, whose possum-related works typically sell for about $70 on TradeMe, said he’s unfazed,
“I just respond with a smiley face,” he said.