Immortalized, Episode 6: Self Portrait
Once again we see the Immortalizer Beth Beverly going up against a new challenger, Bill MacFarland.
The challenger Bill MacFarland, from Limerick, Pennsylvania, is a hunter, artist and commercial taxidermist. He prides himself on his unique habitats in his work. He’s been practicing taxidermy for around four years. With a degree in fine arts, MacFarland explains that this element makes him a strong opponent.
The theme tonight is revealed to be “Self Portrait”.
Beth divulges how she loves the process of skinning an animal. She feels she needs to be careful not to get carried away and go cheesy with tonight’s theme. She will be using a snarling coyote in a leaping stance with a tiny kitten placed inside its hollowed out chest. And crystals. Lots of tiny crystals. For the sparkle, of course. Beth’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she says, mirrors herself being tough but pretty. She’s put LED lights inside the coyote for contrast to the rough fur on the outside. The kitten she is working with proves to be a little difficult as there are no forms for it and she only has one, so she must take care.
Bill tells that his many years as a hunter add a strength to his taxidermy being that he can relate to it. He picked a lion, standing on a rock, looking down at a reflection of himself. He feels that his photography skills will also help him with this project. Bill strives for realism. It will be risky for him to mount the lion because he’s never worked with a lion. In a bad turn of events, his lion form has been delayed, adding to his mounting pressure and stress.
Back in the studio, Bill goes first unveiling his lion for the judges. The lion he used came from South Africa and judge Brian Posehn points out that it’s not full grown as he can tell by its shorter mane. Judge Paul Rhymer thinks it lacks details. The lion wasn’t peering down into the puddle and that was also a bit of a sore spot, it seems. With Beth last, she explains that she decided to project how she saw herself, not how others see her. With beads dangling from the open cavity of the coyotes’ chest, the judges are mostly speechless. There are a few technical issues with the piece and the sparkles are also questioned. Beth says the red beads mimic blood dripping down from the cavity.
Now it’s time to be judged.
The judges didn’t quite feel Bill’s vision, and while Paul and Catherine liked Beth’s, Brian wasn’t much into it.
With a final score of 82 to 61, the rogue taxidermist, Immortalizer Beth Beverly, wins easily.