What is Taxigami???

Before you consult the dictionary, you should know that I made the word up. It combines the word origami (the art of paper folding) with the word taxidermy (filling dead animal heads with cotton balls or something and putting them on your walls). But everyone can feel good about hanging one of my Taxigami pieces in their home because…

  1. They are not made of real animals
  2. They are made of recycled cardboard, grocery bags and news papers
Waldo and the Musical Mustache by Mark Wilhelm

The origin story for the Taxigami series, while not as epic as a superhero origin story, is still pretty fun. The Community Art Center used to have an annual Blockbuster show. Each year a theme would be chosen and the entire building would be covered in art and activities to fit this theme. As the Artist-in-Residence, I always made art for my studio and the show that fit the theme.

One year the theme was Recycled Art; now more popularly referred to as “upcycled art.” This is a pretty broad theme and, as it often happens when I am faced with too many options, I got a serious case of artist’s block. I sat in my studio playing Minecraft for about three weeks. I made sure to explain to people who stopped in that it was “all part of my process!”

Square Bear and I dressed up for the show!

As it turned out, Minecraft, while not a part of the physical process, did turn out to be an inspiration for the series. In Minecraft you build shelters out of very blocky pieces of wood and stone. Similarly, I grabbed a hot-glue gun, some cardboard and an exacto knife and began piecing together my Taxigami series. I went on to make many other animals and now, with my new interest in abstract painting, I plan to do an abstract sculpture series as well as a box monster series using the same techniques. More to come!

-Mark Wilhelm

2 thoughts on “What is Taxigami???

  1. I loved your taxigami animals, which I believe were the first series of art pieces I knew to be connected to you. I loved it when there were four or five of them in the great hall at any given time, and i am, of course, particularly honored to be the owner of a tiny zebra taxigami head – thanks to you and Nancy Martindale.
    So I’m very intrigued to see what you’re up to now. Does this mean that you would welcome donations of brown paper should I have some?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s