Art Basel Taxidermy Artist Charged With Smuggling

12.01.11 Marina Galperina

Miami-based artist Enrique Gomez de Molina likes to plays Dr. Frankenstein, stitching complex monsters from animal carcasses and parts. This week, he was charged with illegally smuggling said parts, as one of his $10K sculptures was shipped from Art Basel Miami to Canada last year and… well… allegedly, he’s had a very, very exotic barnyard of dead things illegally, internationally imported from all over.

His particular taxidermy slithers right between ethically unsettling and aesthetically mesmerizing. Yes, it’s gorgeous. But, then again, it’s grim to think of the allegedly illegally imported parts, skins and remains of “cobras, pangolins, hornbills, the skulls of babirusa and orangutans,” “a Java kingfisher, collared kingfisher, bird of paradise, and juvenile hawk-eagle as well as the carcasses of a slow loris” from Bali, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada, and China. So suspiciously extravagant (and vice versa.) Kind of makes you want to stick to stitching up roadkill, or better yet, Chinatown garbage taxidermy.

Molina could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.