Catherine Coan is an artist, hybrid taxidermist, writer, and professor living in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in prestigious galleries in LA and across the country. She was a judge on the AMC TV series Immortalized.
Her hybrid mammals explore the intersections between nature and humanity. Imaginary creatures perch on human furniture in domestic spaces, asking the viewer to engage with the animal inside. Surprising details and a sense of humor which is at once dark and life-affirming invite guests to linger, becoming part of each tableau.
The Canary Suicides are meditations on captivity, miniature embodiment, the pet as fetish, and the relationship between death and delight. They are influenced by the medieval reliquary; the work of mice who’ve made tiny, perfect replicas of some of Rauschenberg and Kienholz’s most well-known assemblages; and Coan’s mother and grandmother, who bred and kept many healthy, self-actualized canaries trained in calligraphy, origami, algebra, and bridge. Each Canary Suicide contains hidden money, a suicide note, and a pet owned by the resident canary, along with unique surprises.
All materials used in these pieces are sourced ethically and legally. No animals are killed for this work.