At first glance, Christy Rupp’s bone sculptures appear to be archeological artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History. But the various bird skeletons are in fact completely fabricated by Rupp entirely from chicken bones! In a series called “Extinct Birds Previously Consumed By Humans”, the artist recycles discarded bones from fast food restaurants to recreate species that have been extinct for centuries.
Rupp’s creepy creatures represent the long gone Dodo, tiny Carolina parakeets, long legged Moas, Icelandic Great Auks and Ivory Billed Woodpeckers. She carefull collects the discarded chicken bones from fast food refuse bins, their meat mostly consumed, with remnants of deep fried batter, and sticky sauces still lingering, before she boils them at her home studio. Each bird is paired with their approximate extinction date, or last known sighting of the species.
Rupp’s sculptures point a sharp finger toward both the fast food industry, and environmental effects on nature and wildlife. The fast food industry has turned raising poultry into a mass market business, with each bird raised as cheaply as possible in crowded, unhealthy conditions. Rupp is unapologetic, bringing attention to the hormone-pumped birds we consume, that also happen to be rife with antibiotics and pesticides.
Her creative plan of attack fuses a man versus nature problem, presenting generations past. Many of the extinct birds she chose to represent were been last seen in the 1800s to early 1900s, but are modernized with their underscoring of the problem of processed and genetically modified food.
The morbid skeletons are not just creative and smart, but they are a perfectly gruesome display fit for Halloween!