• 07.22.13

No Animals Were Harmed In The Making Of These Majestic Taxidermy Heads

Artist Courtney Timmermans stuffs the mute heads of wild animals with an unlikely form of artillery: BBs.

Ralphie, the precocious hero of A Christmas Story, was warned time and time again about air rifles (specifically, the Red Ryder 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.) “You’ll shoot your eye out,” they all warned, and eventually he kind of did. But eyeballs aside, it might be hard to bag any bigger game with a BB gun–unless you take those shot pellets out of the field and into the art studio.


Urban Herd is artist Courtney Timmermans’s ambitious taxidermy project, in which she makes impeccable wild animal heads from thousands of air rifle BBs. As though a stampede got trapped inside a ball-bearing factory, Timmermans’ moose and elephant create glittery disco balls of animal magnetism. The project, which is now on view at the Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago, forces viewers to think about the other kinds of ammunition these animals might encounter in their lives.

Have a look through more images from the exhibition in the slides above.

H/t to Colossal

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.