In the "TRENDS" section of the LA times, Reid found this piece of possible Q.-reader interest: "Wild, styled and gleefully cruelty-free."
Staff writer David Keeps uses that description to categorize the artificial animal trophies he claims are "becoming fashionable wall decor, especially for urban hipsters." Keeps interviews a number of retailers who speculate as to the motives of those who go faux, ranging from inexpensive affectation to a grander lifestyle to " politically correct consumerism." There is a hint of post-modernism here also: "Hanging a likeness of a dead animal made from an inorganic material, [one retailer] says, 'adds an obvious element of irony when the medium and the message are so fundamentally opposed.'"
Obvious to some, maybe. But the concept is not necessarily post-modern, and it's certainly not new. Manufactured images of animals have always been a part of human householdss. That animal shapes are pleasingly sculptural and well-suited to stylized renderings was clear to the cave dwellers of Lascaux, circa 15,000 B.C. (the French were always fashionable). Taxidermy and mounted trophies, by contrast, must have a much shorter history. I wonder: Were mounted heads considered ironic when they first became available?
My point is only to steal a little thunder from anyone who might think a faux animal head is a fresh or pithy political statement. Folks to whom this sentiment might make sense:
"I suspect that anybody that buys these has no desire to hunt a deer," says
product designer Aaron Silverstein. "They are elegant and slightly stylized,
enough removed from reality that they don't freak anyone out."
Is that the mantra of our age, or what?
Still...some of these are pretty neat!