Revel in the Beauty of Death With These Gem-Encrusted Monkey Skulls

Check out Gerard Geer’s fantastical combinations of taxidermy and sculpture.
July 22, 2016, 2:30pm
Neptune's Amethyst, all images courtesy of the artist.

Australian artist Gerard Geer works with animal bones to combine skeletal articulation with sculpture. His most recent works feature rabbit, rooster, fox, and squirrel skulls, will be exhibited in Brunswick, Australia at BeinArt Gallery for a group exhibition called Luminosity & Dust.

Deeply interested in the inner workings of life forms, Geer works with a variety of media to turn the fur, feathers, and skeletons of dead animals into polished sculptures which retain little of the decay related to their individual parts. A monkey skull is encrusted with crystals and placed inside a glass circular dome while mouse, chicken, and snake bones are recycled and become a beautiful small tree, placed inside of small glass and wood box.

In 2013, Geer learned that his practice of collecting and reworking native animals, even though he was using roadkill, was against the law in Australia. Geer had planned to destroy his work in order to comply with the laws and avoid legal punishment, and to bring to light the complex intersection between art and law. Eventually, though, he was able to come to an agreement with the Department of Environment and Sustainability. He didn’t have to destroy his work, but he cannot sell or exhibit those pieces.

Now, Geer only works with non-native species and uses mainly bone as his primary medium, as it is easier to maintain than feathers or fur, less hassle to sell internationally, and is more aesthetically pleasing to the artist himself.

See more of Gerard Geer's fantastical taxidermy sculptures on his Instagram.


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