You Won’t Believe How this Art was Made!

A few weeks ago, I was leaving a Texas airport bathroom when something caught my eye.  It was a large piece of artwork enclosed in a glass case, and it looked to be a watercolor.  It was an image of a raccoon (of all things!), but it was haunting, ethereal, and magnetic.  I immediately snapped a photo of it and the accompanying info, and as soon as I landed back in DC I did some research into the artists.  What I found out was incredible!


Gray Fox

By day, Adam Cohen and Ben Labay are actually fish biologists…(yes, you heard me right).  In 2007 they began making Gyotaku, or fish “rubbings.”  This Japanese technique originated in the nineteenth century and involves inking a specimen and pressing it against rice paper to make an impression–in other words, a glorified fish stamp.

Soon after, they expanded into other animal forms, and Inked Animal was born.

Inked Animal //

Eastern Cottontail Jump

From the artists:

“We are both conservation biologists working daily towards the long-term persistence of the populations of animals that we print. As such we have strong feelings about the ethical treatment and use of animals. With very few exceptions (occasionally fish and invertebrates) we do not kill animals specifically for use in our art and rather rely on animals found deceased in nature. In some cases we will accept specimens from permitted hunters, wildlife rehabilitators and exterminators so long as they have been collected via legal means. When appropriate, we donate specimens to museums for long-term curation and for use in scientific research.”


North American Beaver

I think their prints are incredible, and I hope to own one someday.  Once you get past how they were made, they really are a thing of beauty.


Cedar Waxwing 1

To purchase prints of Adam and Ben’s work, contact Art.Science.Gallery at 512-522-8278 or email them at


Bull Shark Skull

What do you think of their methods? Could you see these hanging in your home? Click the comment link at the top of the article–I’d love to hear your opinion!

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Comments (5 )
  • cassie
    | 10 September 2014

    those are amazing and so my style! thanks for sharing!

    • annabode
      | 10 September 2014

      Thanks Cassie!

  • Donna Brewster
    | 11 September 2014

    Amazing! And why not? I recently did crayon rubbings with a group of kids in a summer program. Some of them were also amazing! Thanks!

  • Amanda
    | 4 March 2015

    Super cool! Love these!

    • annabode
      | 4 March 2015

      Aren’t they incredible? I’ve actually been talking to the artist about purchasing one for our house in Colorado 🙂

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