Alex CF’s Cryptozoological, Pseudoscientific Artifacts
Icthyosapien: Homomimus Aquaticus Charles Dodgson and the Hidden Plane
Alex CF’s assemblage and sculptures create a world in which fantastic creatures exist, and are discovered, preserved, and scientifically documented by Victorian naturalists, corrupt missionaries, and various colorful figures. Among the specimens are werewolves, mermaids, vampires, and fairies. His work exists as the Merrilyn Cryptid Collection, through which the artist (styled as the curator of the collection) adds a layer of the possible and mysterious, distancing the work from being thought of as objects made by an artist, instead inviting the viewer to see the pieces as scientific and historical evidence collected by an enigmatic professor in the early 1800s. All of the “preserved specimens” are completely synthetic, not including any animal remains. Alex is self-taught, and makes a living off of his work.
I have included these specimens as a few that best illustrate Alex CF’s portrayal of mythical creatures as humanoid with nonhuman characteristics that make them distinctly Other. The “preserved specimen” aesthetics and the extensive fiction that the artist has created go a long way towards giving the pieces a sense of believability and “realness” that is not commonly this deep in portrayals of werewolves, vampires, fairies, and mermaids. Though familiar, those creatures are also not to be at all mistaken with humans in Alex CF’s portrayals of them – there is no romanticized, sexy monster here. They are Other even in death, in their very bones, and Alex CF does an excellent job situating them in the uncanny valley between what looks human, and what looks inhuman.