One look at these portraits of clowns and demonic masked figures is enough to send chills down your spine. No, they're not from a Juggalo yearbook or outtakes from a Slipknot album cover, but the work of anonymous artists and taxidermy enthusiasts, Mothmeister. Their Instagram account and Etsy store are packed with creepy masked characters, from goat men and sheep women to living ventriloquist dummies. Most of them pose with tastefully preserved animal carcasses. A new book called Weird and Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tales compiles the most unsettling characters in their collection.
The Belgium-based duo describe themselves as, "passionate taxidermy collectors who portray anonymous, ugly masked creatures as a reaction against the dominant exhibitionism of the selfie culture and beauty standards marketed by the mass media." While travel bloggers and influencers exaggerate the most beautiful and hedonistic parts of their lives, Mothmeister have accrued nearly 160k followers on Instagram by focusing on the opposite extreme. Their macabre photos suggest a brutal world full of monstrous people traveling to haunting locales. Both are fantasy, but at least Mothmeister's subjects don't hide that their wearing masks.
Below is a selection of the mysterious artists' photographs, captured throughout the world over the course of five years.
Get Weird and Wonderful Post-Mortem Fairy Tales, from Marked Books and Lannoo, here.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Beckett (but not in a creepy clown way) on Twitter.