The Norman Transcript

N-town Q/A

July 5, 2013

Q&A: Michael Joy Wilson combines taxidermy, rhinestones



Q: How did you feel when you were selected for the Individual Artist Award?

A: I was really excited about it. It means a lot to be acknowledged by the community that you live in. I think the work that I do is sometimes a little weird for this area of the country. I just noticed from when I was in Boston and living here, different attitudes about what I do. But it means a lot to me because it’s important to me and this is where I live so it’s a big deal.

Q: What inspires you?

A: I’m a really visual person. I would say nature because there’s so much variety and beauty in there and just the color combinations and the shapes and the forms — the intricacy of it all.

I also like fabrics and elaborate wall papers and just visual diversity. It’s fascinating to pick something out of there and just focus on it and learn from it, it all gets incorporated in somewhere.

Q: What kind of audience do you think will appreciate this the most?

A: God, I hope most anybody can. Oh, one of the things about the taxidermy I was really interested in is it seemed like a really masculine thing, like for the man cave or whatever. They’re trophies of their sporting activities and the way that I transformed them, I felt was a more traditionally feminine take on it by putting all these memories into it, making them a special thing and kind of releasing them from that trophy aspect and presenting them in a different way.

There’s a lot of symbolism with fish, as well as derogatory terms about women related to fish, so I liked playing with that and creating something a little more fun and more powerful.

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