Oslo-based artist Erik Tidemann has one sculpture that sums up everything. Animal Check List is a dangling cocoon made out of 33 taxidermy animals, including nine deer, four raccoons and one mink. The artist calls it an “animal brain machine.”
Raised by his grandparents who were taxidermists, he now lives in Oslo (which was recently deemed as expensive as London). Influenced by HR Giger, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, VHS covers, and heroin prostitutes, Tidemann is an old soul. With a background in the furry world, his work echoes the family crests of his grandfather. He finds human teeth from his dentist to give to his taxidermy sculptures. He has created guardian warhogs named Elizabeth and Sophia. His five-headed wolf piece, Nazi Super Science, is inspired by the conspiracy literature of Nazi UFO science. Meanwhile, his dog Chico, who passed on, is now a taxidermy sculpture. Tidemann quotes British broadcaster Carl Pilkington, who said “You are going to be dead longer than you are alive.” Ultimately his work is born out of a fear of death. Animals tell the story of death as the artist steps around it. While each day we get closer to the Grim Reaper, we don’t really feel it. Still, art is a way of dealing with it.