It's disgusting. It's creepy. It's haunting, funny and sometimes even beautiful. It's mixed-media sculpture in the broadest sense made from preserved dead animals. Rogue Taxidermy features two dozen artists who list taxidermy among their skills. Demonstrating a surprising variety within the genre, these artists have indeed gone rogue at least when it comes to the art of traditional animal-stuffing. Traces of the iconic mounted-head hunting-trophy-plaque format still persist, but the artists build on it like crazy, incorporating electronics, gold leaf, jewelry, velvet, bell jars, lacquer, dioramas, shadow-boxes, recombinant species, altarpieces and an array of adornments into their twisted visions. Artist Scott Hove uses taxidermy as an element of elaborate, confectionary sculptures. Jessica Joslin does impossibly delicate, magic-versus-science work that preserves fictional fossils. Elizabeth McGrath and Morgan Slade work in a unique rock-opera aesthetic that, indeed, may have sparked the current generation's fancy for taxidermy with sell-out shows at La Luz and Billy Shire Fine Art. Blending tropes of taxidermic tradition with fine and folk art, these artists also incorporate violence and tenderness, memory and nightmare, humor and visceral poetry into their savage and sweet hybrid creatures. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd.; Fri., May 4, 8 p.m., runs thru May 27; free. 323-666-7667, laluzdejesus.com.
Mondays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 4. Continues through May 27, 2012