Good thing Robert Rauschenberg only did one work with an endangered species in it. The Miami Herald reports on Enrique Gomez de Molina who saw his career take off when he started working in taxidermy only to ignore warnings from the Federal Government about his use of endangered species. Now he’s going to jail for nearly 2 years:
As a painter and sculptor who worked primarily in bronze, he was barely getting noticed. But when he switched to working with dead animals, both the run-of-the-mill and the exotic, stitching the head of one onto the torso of another, adding perhaps the wings of a third and the hooves of a fourth, his star started climbing.
His hauntingly beautiful hybrid creatures, which look like they could have wandered out of a fairy tale — or a nightmare, depending on whom you ask — were garnering serious attention from the art world and fetching $12,000, $25,000, in one case $80,000. They sold to big-name collectors and to one museum in Kansas.