Immortalized Competitive Taxidermy on AMC
In a new reality show from AMC, “Immortalized” brings the masses competitive taxidermy. Didn’t realize there was such a thing? Treat your eyes to the strange and surreal, the macabre and fascinating when two top taxidermists compete using fantastic displays of talent and imagination as they face a challenge every week, in an epic battle to become immortalized.
In what was deemed creative combat, we were introduced to Kevin Clark from Petaluma, California, and Beth Beverly of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Clark’s specialty is bugs and insects, while Beverly’s is turning fur into fashion, more specifically, hats. Clark compares himself to a bug, explaining that you won’t see him coming. Beverly’s most humorous hat was made from a fox scrotum.
Now for the judges…
We have Paul Rhymer, a former Smithsonian taxidermist, Catherine Coan, a taxidermy artist also known as the “Diva of Death”, and Brian Posehn, a comedian.
The contestants are judged on three criteria – originality, craftsmanship and a given theme. In this episode, the theme is ‘Size Matters’. We were taken to each competitors’ home studio to watch them work.
Clark decided to use a little Gulliver’s Travels inspiration and made a man out of insects who is being tied to the ground by bugs. We get to see his process on how he prepares the bugs to be used.
Beverly wants her pieces to stand alone. She decides to use several different parts from different animals, and join them together to make one very unique piece.
Their finished products are shipped back to the studio in crates in order for the competitors to reassemble them. Clark’s turned out to be a little damaged, while Beverly’s was smooth sailing.
Once the pieces were ready to be displayed, the judges got their first look at the creations. Clark used many different species and types of insects, giving it a visually satisfying appeal, and also incorporated live ants in a jar where the person’s heart would have been. Beverly fused together part of a fish, the carcass of a cat, and more to come up with her creation. The cat, Mr. Smart, was donated by her friend who wished the pet to be made into a work of art. Skinned and tanned, Mr. Smart was given a humorous expression to top it off.
The judges weren’t convinced of Beth’s ability to work with the theme at hand, but Clark’s creation appeared to look more crafty to them. In the end it was Beverly who won by a margin of 73 to 70, granting her the title of Immortalizer. Next week two more competitors will go head to head to see who has more skills in taxidermy.
Watch “Immortalized” on AMC Thursdays 10/9c.