It’s perhaps the very best and ethical way you could place an animal bust on your wall – Korean artist Yong Ho Ji uses recycled tires from all sorts of vehicles to create these incredibly dynamic sculptures. The shape of his medium is what leads to the sinuous curves of each piece, while the knobby textures and coal black hue give them both a beautiful and sinister countenance.
Yong Ho Ji’s animals are hardly accurate, often taking on the clear form of mutants. In this way each species veers slightly away from its real-life kin, sometimes going as far as merging with the properties of another species. In these examples, we see mythical creatures like a bull or wolf with a human torso. In others the mutation is far more subtle – perhaps an animal’s horns have become larger, teeth longer or muscles stronger. Like the Uncanny X-Men, these mutants have changed into forms superior in abilities to their predecessors. Frozen in motion, each creature could easily seem dead to the world were it not for their obsidian black eyes staring with melancholy realism from the folds of their skin.
The sculptures are constructed by screwing and gluing his cut pieces of tire onto a cast resin skeleton – often reaching close to life-size. You can see many more examples at yonghoji.com.