Among elegant yet unquestionably manly men’s clothing and accessories, four-month-old boutique ODIN currently features animal pillows ($55). The cheetahs, zebras, bears, wolves, owls, cats, and other creatures are the work of artist Ross Menuez. If you’re thinking teddy bear, you’re way off. They are animal silhouette cutouts that resemble the shapes children end up with when they cut around a drawing—lacking the dexterity or desire to cut out the negative space that defines limbs. The images silkscreened onto the cutouts come from photographs in old Dutch, Spanish, and Italian encyclopedias (from as far back as 1900). It is their uncuddliness that makes them so strange (one could go so far as to describe them as “creepy” or “unsettling”) and so cool. If you like these, be aware that the same images are silk-screened onto T-shirts ($52) exclusively for ODIN. Menuez is at work on his second series, which introduces lovable city animals (squirrels and pigeons), as well as some nobler mammals (gorillas and tigers).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2004