Maquenda's avatar

Animal Funerals

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By Maquenda   |   
© 2018 - 2020 Maquenda

Most of the dead animal photography I’ve done over the last couple of years. 

I’m always trying to find new ways to make an interesting composition and mood, and it’s nice to see I do get better at photography.

Even though there will always be people who don’t understand the reason why I do this, and people who get very angry at me, I’m proud to say that even though I’m very sensitive to such reactions, I still continue to do whats important to me. 

I think it’s interesting that people get angry about it too, it triggers a  very strong emotion and I think art is a beautiful way to explore these things as art should also be able make people think..

I’m slowly getting better at not letting it get to me as much as it used to and even though I try my best to explain myself, (which is hard, because I don’t always know the answer) I don’t have to please everyone with my art. It’s after all, my personal exploration about this subject.

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anonymous's avatar
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CorruptTempest's avatar
CorruptTempestHobbyist General Artist
Strange related question, what do you think about taxidermy?
Taxidermy certainly evokes strong negative emotions from regular people, mostly animal lovers of course. Typically the first comment is, "How could anyone kill such an animal?" (Assuming all taxidermy is trophy hunters, and murders of endangered species.)
But odds are, some of those animals died of natural causes, were old and lagging behind, or were even someone's pet.
I couldn't do it myself, or stuff my own beloved pet. I could never do that. However,
I think taxidermy is a life after death, sort of. It is an art form.
It can be seen as disrespectful, touching and tearing open dead creatures, but... it's sort of giving them a new purpose. They didn't die young in vain, to rot silently. They are now immortalized forever.
Taxidermy doesn't offend me. Infact I find it very interesting, and like to appreciate up close these wild animals you could never approach alive.

Then again, I have a weird superstition that makes me depressed and uneasy when taking apart bodies, moving them, or touching a dead one's possessions. I don't know why. It's not that it makes me feel gross, or angry. It just pts a weird weight on my consciousness to disturb 'the final resting place'. Even if it's inevitable that it has to be moved.

But what you are doing here is different. You're giving gone creatures a beautiful farewell, just as we so normally do with our fellow man.
You are immortalizing these creatures as natural art. And you are doing so with little impact of their natural bodies, (Taxidermy requires cutting and removal of all innards... lots of destruction or what have you.) And that's fine. like I said, I respect taxidermy, it's an art. Both of these practices are art.
If people want to get mad at you for gently laying a passed away little bird on top of some flowers or berries, screw them. They are sensitive in all the wrong areas. I'm happy these creatures had someone who gave a moment to gift them a beautiful caring goodbye.

Oh and, wonderful photography! Each one is so different. They're all pretty.
Maquenda's avatar
MaquendaStudent Digital Artist
I have no problem with taxidermy :) (killing, hunting and taxidermy is all so different from eachother, I dont know how people can't take them apart haha) I'm very interested in it myself and wanted to be a taxidermist when I was a little kid..also was an intern for a little while (I think taxidermy is an artform by itself) I also have a strong fascination for anatomy and how things work so skinnign an animal and taking it apart isn't a problem for me..:)

Thank you for your kind words!
CorruptTempest's avatar
CorruptTempestHobbyist General Artist
Thank you for replying, interesting! I knew you would most likely appreciate taxidermy! ^^
I watch taxidermy contests on occasion and wow.... the beautiful poses some people can make with gone creatures. So inspiring.

Gore don't bother me, I think atonomy is interesting as well. I just know for certain I couldn't have my own beloved pet done.
But could I taxidermy a wild animal? Eh, maybe. 
Is there really anyway to respectfully.... you know... tear apart a corpse? I'm the type of person who feels strong emotions just disturbing a passed away one's possessions, let alone their body. That's just me though. I can also feel indifferent about it.

I feel depression and a little uncomfortable in thrift stores, garage sales, abandoned homes, and holding a passed away person's items. Yet, I have a strange fascination with it. I watch abandoned places videos and immerse myself in sadness and curiousity, and I frequent thrift stores to get a glimpse into the past. I play around in my mind what sort of person owned this or that. You know. I found out a lot of people share these feelings.
I also hate waste. A lot. It makes me feel a lot sadder. I like to repurpose forgotten things. When my dad passed away last year, I suffered with the terrible burden of what to do with the houseful of things he hoarded. It's a long story. But I'm much too young and poor to have much power over the situation. The bank took the house I was born and raised in, after I got my grandma out of there and living in my home.

I still feel terrible there was little I could do with all the old memories. I simply don't have the room in my apartment for a house that steadily accumulated decades of things. Not to mention most things were destroyed and filthy due to hoarding and neglect.
hibbary's avatar
hibbaryProfessional General Artist
Waaaat this is GREAT!!!
Maquenda's avatar
MaquendaStudent Digital Artist
Thank youu :D
RainMoon11's avatar
I think your art is a beautiful way to represent death and also to honor life. Keep up with your photography! I love it!
FlamewolfTheWhite's avatar
FlamewolfTheWhiteHobbyist Traditional Artist
There truly is beauty in death, I love this.
AlexTheActor's avatar
Mhm, just a little question: What do you find so fascinating about death?
Not that I wanna hold that against you, I just wanna know.
I am just curious.
Snowfall-The-Cat's avatar
Snowfall-The-CatHobbyist General Artist
Every time i see your work here i think that its totally weird. but i always find myself oddly enjoying your work here in a deeper way, i respect what you do. nice work. :)
WaryCassowary's avatar
WaryCassowaryStudent Traditional Artist
I won't ramble on . . . but seriously, this series has been a huge inspiration for my growth as an artist this year.  Thank you!  It's cool to see them all together :)
Cyansky95's avatar
Cyansky95Hobbyist General Artist
This is breathtaking. So much harmony in each of these. Beautiful tributes! I think what you're doing is honorable for these critters and don't see any wrong with it.
Dendropsyche's avatar
DendropsycheHobbyist Digital Artist
It's so odd, knowing that the animals in these photos are dead and yet it's almost as if the artwork has given them new life. They live on as artwork.
TrollGirl's avatar
TrollGirlProfessional Traditional Artist
So beautiful :)
I'm not one of the angry ones but your thoughts on the subject are still interesting.
I wonder if any cultures still do something similar to dead humans. Covering in flowers is better than putting in a box....but less practical for big numbers, I suppose...
CreeperJr's avatar
CreeperJrHobbyist Digital Artist
These are all incredibly beautiful! They remind me of when I lived out in the country up North. Dead animals would always wind up in our yard from my dog and cat. Over the three years I lived there I saw many different animals. Baby birds who had grown too big for their nest, a cat skull, deer bones, a crow, moles, and once my dog drug up an entire turkey. One of these animals did particularly spark my interest though, an Eastern Mole. Instead of burring him right away like I did with most of the others. I put him up on a branch in a tree so my dog wouldn't get him and just kinda hung out. I talked with him since I didn't really have anyone else. It was Fall so the bugs started to die and got cold so he stayed intact for a while. Eventually, I did bury him but it was nice while it lasted. Weird but that's what these pictures reminded me of.
cleutoon's avatar
cleutoonStudent Artist
01pxgx2's avatar
01pxgx2Student General Artist
These are truely beautiful, amazing work as always. Quite original as well, using animal bodies as parts of art
Faelys2412's avatar
Faelys2412Hobbyist Digital Artist
Before I saw your photos, I'd never thought that it was possible to do something beautiful with death. And even if I think about death sometimes in a scary way, when I see these pictures, I don't know, maybe we can say there's something beautiful in it. Hard to explain ^^'  
NymphadoraDesigns's avatar
NymphadoraDesignsHobbyist Artisan Crafter
I am overwhelmed with emotion by this. It's so incredibly sad to see all these animals lose in the eternal fight for existence - yet, I am even more overwhelmed by the beauty of these photographs. I don't think these animals could have had a sendoff more worthy. Thank you for sharing this. Don't stop doing what you feel is important. The art is stunning, and the fact that people are triggered only supports the power you get by keep on doing it. Again - extremely beautiful work. 
cafe-araignee's avatar
cafe-araigneeHobbyist Digital Artist
These are incredible captures. The colors and patterns suit each animal so well... It's really moving to see you put so much care and attention into giving them a worthy good-bye. I think it shows an immense amount of respect for the animals on your part. :heart:
daaash's avatar
daaashProfessional General Artist
birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration! Cycle of Life! <3
PixieCatAdopts's avatar
PixieCatAdoptsHobbyist General Artist
Wow! Beautiful work!
Colonels-Corner's avatar
These are all really incredible. The designs and colors are all really mystical and really beautiful. I'm surprised people get angry, it's kind of nice you take the time out of your day to really focus on the death of an animal that might otherwise go unnoticed! Keep up the awesome work! 
wilderNwide's avatar
wilderNwideProfessional General Artist
Is kinda reminds me the day of the dead in Mexico but for animals.
You bringing very oryginal ideas to show beauty in the death, very creative and very colorful.
I love it so much. If i have to be honest, thats the best animal photos Ive ever seen anywhere.
I will be very happy to see more from you and if you ever will decide to sell it as a prints i'll definitely buy one!
Keep doing a great job !
husky-oasis's avatar
husky-oasisHobbyist General Artist
ah this beautiful
i think it shows art through love for wildlife

that's how i see it
anonymous's avatar
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