DESCRIBING THE BIZARRE, highly imaginative world of Blaine Halvorson is like trying to tell someone about a color they have never seen — nearly impossible. Halvorson, a tall, heavily tattooed 42-year-old whose laid-back demeanor hides an obsessive intensity, is a voracious collector of contemporary art, taxidermy and myriad curiosities, from old dentures and glass eyeballs to detached doll heads and faceless anatomical mannequins. These are meticulously arranged in macabre vignettes at his 4,500-square-foot studio in Culver City, Calif. In one installation, a painting of freshly butchered carcasses serves as the focal point for a herd of taxidermied dogs panting before a refrigerated case of plastic meat. In another, a row of jury chairs from an early-20th-century New York courtroom face a series of nine-foot-high mixed-media renderings of real, and very menacing, mug shots.
A studio visit with Blaine Halvorson