ABOVE: JESSICA JOSLIN, IGGY, 2012. ANTIQUE HARDWARE AND LAMP PARTS, BRASS, SILVER, STEEL, GLOVER LEATHER, GLASS EYES. 9 X 6 X 12 INCHES. COURTESY OF KASHER|POTAMKIN.
Every month, Interview picks an artist- or designer-created object that straddles the line between aesthetics and function. Subdued tastes need not apply.
Meet Iggy. He’s cute, right? Part cat, part mythical fawn, and part antique lamp, Iggy came into being at the hands of Chicago-based artist Jessica Joslin. At the moment, Iggy has found a home in the “Gilded Forest,” a curated holiday show at Kasher|Potamkin in Chelsea. According to the store, which is a retail offshoot of Steven Kasher Gallery, Iggy dutifully plays the role of “magical forest creature” amid the other selections.
Yet Iggy’s conception was hardly a feat of the supernatural. With a background in taxidermy, Joslin has experimented for 22 years with reimagining animals’ anatomy using real bones and bits of antiques–she dismantles chandeliers, lighting, hardware, filigree, and other decorative objects and reworks it to appear as part of the animals’ skeletal architectures.
Having established somewhat of a cult following, Joslin admits a great deal of the bones she uses arrive as donations. It’s creepy to think so, but they seem like pets, almost. “My world is in that zone, so it doesn’t seem creepy to me at all. I’ve actually been doing quite a lot of commissions to commemorate collectors’ beloved, deceased pets,” she shares. “That’s a very curious kind of project.” She searches for and snatches up inorganic components from the many thrift and antique stores dotting the rural Midwest. “If you get out to the middle of nowhere, there are definitely some fabulously dusty little antique shops that haven’t been picked over, and sometimes have some really marvelous objects,” she says.
“I’m taking objects that were considered decorative art and transforming them into something different,” she explains. “And I’m giving a creature a second life with these objects.”
Objet d’Art runs every month. For more, click here.