I knew there was something strange about these portraits when I first looked at them but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I thought the eyes had a realness about them that is hard to create, which turned out to be partly correct.
The artist Heide Hatry created these weird little creations with animal skin and body parts. So the eyes are real, but they’re real pigs eyes. The lips are raw flesh and the skin is from a pig.
In her statement from here website, Heide Hatry says.. “My intention with the work was to make it as life-like as possible, vivid and sometimes disposed in positions suggesting movement. I used untreated pigskin to cover a sculpture I had made out of clay, with raw meat for the lips and fresh pig eyes in order that the resulting portrait would appear as if it were looking at the viewer with a vital expression which the photographer had just captured at that moment. In fact, a photographer taking a picture of a model does more or less what I’ve done with my sculptures: the model will be made up, its hair will be done, appropriate lighting and pose will be chosen, etc. Or, if you prefer, what I am doing is reminiscent of what a mortician does in preparing a corpse for viewing: creating the illusion of life where there is none.”
She is currently showing at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Heads and Tales” finishes on the 17th of March. View more of the portraits at the artist’s website here or see a slideshow of images on the Phoenix newspaper.