Suppress any shocked response and consider how often you end up sitting in something made of leather (or slip your feet into leather shoes, pull out a leather wallet, etc…). There, now let it loose – what do you think of this curious taxidermy furniture series? It is the real deal – constructed with everything from alligator scales to zebra skins, buffalo pieces to ostrich parts … and more.
Horns, tusks and tails make the reality of the mostly-leather creations a present visual factor in a visceral way – anthropomorphic elements (legs and armrests) augment the life-like feel of these furnishings. Creative, creepy or both?
Michel Hallard is an artist and craftsman who is very aware that his furniture can make people uncomfortable – even if the materials he uses are soft and supple. His pieces, in fact, are not sold through normal sales and distribution channels to casual consumers. Mostly they end up at art auction, and may ever be sat in by their owners.
While many of his works are seating (couches, chairs and recliners in particular) some folks might be a little more likely to let other objects into their homes – side tables, dressers and other things that perhaps do not require such full and frequent physical contact.
It would be too easy to dismiss these items as macabre and sensationalist. At the end of the day, it is clear that Hallard pays a good deal of attention to detail and puts much consideration into how all parts of an animal – hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cold – fit into his complex compositions.
While he might anger some environmentalists or animal lovers, there is something to be said for the way that nothing goes to waste here – though, like any use of once-living creatures, one could hope that the sources at least were sustainable in each case.