Kirsten McCrea

A dandy is an effeminate man. A Dan-D-Noser is a tool used by taxidermists to create the appearance of a live deer’s nose. Employing illustration, excerpts from taxidermy chatrooms, and quotations from Baudelaire and Camus, the book Dan-D-Noser presents a playful proposal for a more nuanced understanding of masculinity by examining the intersection of taxidermy culture and dandyism. Ultimately, the continuum of gender is more of a scribble than a straight line, and while a taxidermied deer is not a deer per se, but rather a fantasy of what a deer could be, so too is gender a simulated performance reliant on fantasy and stereotype. Kirsten McCrea’s drawings of excessively adorned deer are a nod to the driving force behind both realist painting and taxidermy: the devotion to creating the illusion of life, of presenting death as decoration, and nature as something placid and easily controlled. Excerpted throughout the book are threads from the forums of a leading taxidermy website. Forums are functional spaces where practical tips and tricks regarding a variety of activities are traded, and they are also social spaces where intimate bonds are formed. To visit a forum that belongs to a subculture to which you yourself do not is akin to eavesdropping on a conversation. The conversations at reveal not the bravado and tough-guy attitude associated with trophy hunters, but rather a world of men who argue over the merits of Puff Paint™ vs. Modge Podge™, wax poetic about their families, and most of all revel in the immense beauty of the animals they are charged with preserving. Herein, the macho activity of taxidermy is revealed as a form of male crafting that shares with the dandy a fascination with beauty, pride, and mortality.

Published by Paper Pusher
ISBN: 978-1-927589-01-4
13.5×19.5 cm, 32 pp, risograph, saddle stitched, 2012
Edition of 100

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Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Kirsten McCrea is a Canadian artist who landed in Montreal for a few years en route to her current home in Toronto. In Montreal she honed her drawing skills in the city’s bustling collaborative art scene, making large scale drawings and wheatpaste murals alongside dozens of artists, occasionally indoors but most often in the city streets. Her work has been exhibited internationally – most notably in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal and the AGO in Toronto – and has been reviewed in numerous publications, including Canadian Art, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, Artinfo Canada, The Walrus, As It Happens on CBC Radio, and BUST Magazine. In 2008 she founded Papirmass, an affordable art subscription that removes the barriers of income and location in an effort to democratize the experience of art. Papirmass to date has mailed over 20,000 prints by 80+ artists and writers to people around the world for $5 each, including postage. Her multi-disciplinary studio practice explores cultural memory by comparing pop to underground cultures and invoking contemporary mythologies. She tends to work in large series: Hot Topic (2006-present) is a continually evolving alternative iconography of feminist icons, at present comprised of 80 mixed-media portraits, a book, and a website that hosts a user-generated digital archive ( The upcoming body of work Werewolf Ladies (2014) plays with the excesses of performative femininity and pushes them to an uncomfortable extreme through a series of large-scale mixed media portraits of women whose faces are obscured by tangled growths of hair. Also in its early stages, the series Everything that Rises Must Converge (2014) addresses embodied masculinity by remixing and reimagining hunting costumes and accessories. Dan-D-Noser is a precursor to this series. Kirsten holds a BFA with Great Distinction from Concordia University.

Paper Pusher is a small-batch publisher located in Toronto, Canada, exploring the future of publishing through cottage-industry print production. Run by artist Jp King, Paper Pusher utilizes a Risograph stencil duplication process and a careful selection of salvaged and new paper stocks to publish highly-considered art & literary books, posters, cards, and other experimental paper-based objects. Favouring speculative, surreal, strange, imaginative, absurd, weird, relational, theoretical, conceptual, curious, nonsensical and narrative-driven texts, they celebrate collage, hand-drawn, typographic, geometric, paper-cut, abstract, figurative, silly, literary, and graphically-arresting spot colour images with ample use of halftones, gradients, and overprints. At Paper Pusher visual & verbal communication are seen as functional addictions, widespread habits, and all-consuming passions. Whether you mainline the internet, snort television, or ingest a little advertising, what they prefer is wrapped up in a paperback, bound in a monograph, or rolled in a poster. You’ll find them down on the corner, under the streetlamp, and as you approach they will open their coats and ask: “Lookin’ for a little paper?” Notable titles include Homeland Security by Charles Stankievech, The See by Jessica MacCormack, Someone Who Doesn’t Experience or Understand Pleasure by Jacob Wren, and Arbeitees Volume 2 by Rupert Bottenberg and Marc Bell.

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