My name is Ulises Tovar García. I am a multidisciplinary artist, I specialize in the replication of biological materials. I have been working on this topic for 10 years. The interest I have in working with corpses is to freeze a specific moment, depending on the state of conservation that these animals have. The strategy I followed was to specialize in the replication of biological materials to start exploring this broad spectrum that exists in biology and even more with comparative anatomy. After a year, I found the “Smooth-On” brand with Benito Del Río, to whom I also met at the time. I started buying materials little by little and asking a little weird questions, for example “How can I replicate a fetus of a cat?” So, the first thing they say is “what do you want to do that for?” And it’s there when begins that path
of experimenting. Then I found a multidisciplinary artist who had done a project of replication of a corpse, with a sequence of it dissected at different stages in order to create busts that were showing the anatomy mapping. And that seemed to me …
there I said “this is what I want”. In those three years that I was with him, I was also a zoo assistant. I started to see the differences in the anatomy of all these beings and I fell in love with it. And then, from there, I started working with wildlife that is what I can show a little. One of the biggest projects I’ve done with Smooth-On materials is the casting of a white rhinoceros’ head, that is behind me. I talked to Benito and asked him what materials he recommended, although I had already worked with “Rebound 25”. The body was treated, I made the mold in
one week, it had to be very fast. It was a shell mold, you know, the plastic part is made, a mesh is exposed and then a harder resin. And so I achieved the first step. Then it was cast with a resin and I started painting by hand. I was required by a zoo with the
intention to work a corpse of a gorilla. It is a female gorilla, currently in this country there are only two left, and they are female. The intention of the project was to be able to work with the body replicating both the facial part and the hands and feet, with the intention of being able to make a model. and make a sculpture in which it seems that the animal is alive. Because the casting was over the body and obviously, for the time it had,
the muscles were already very relaxed, it was already losing muscle tone,
and, well, it could not be displayed like this. So they hire me to do the molding and after the molding, transfer it to a more ductile material, such as modeling clay, and make some modifications regarding his gesture. The intention is that it will be sent to melt in bronze to do a ceremony afterwards. I am currently developing
a conservation project which seeks to publicize and expose the six felines of Mexico, with the intention of having environmental education talks, exposing the skulls, as well as images and reproductions of the prints and other activities. Working with “Morph industries” has been, in some way, very good for my artistic development, since they allow me to know different materials in the exploration of what I do. It is very important to know the right materials to work with bone pieces. Because although it is a very hard surface, it depends on the state of preservation. It is not the same a skull of a present day cat that has died and has been cleaned, as an archaeological piece, or let alone, prehistoric.
You always have to do a previous analysis, and then decide what materials are going to be used. I’ve had a lot of support from them, regarding the recommendation of this type of materials, and for the application of what I want to execute. In my experience with Smooth-On, I liked it more than others because they are products that do not release so much smell, you don’t need a catalyst that is
very aggressive, and it is a very friendly product in terms of the use of plastic things. It allows you to develop at levels that, probably, at some point with other materials, you would have had certain barriers in the application or such once finished, or the very resistance of silicone rubbers that is sometimes a problem. Once the mold is encapsulated, there is already mechanical strain to unmold. And that, sometimes, has been a problem because with other materials that are less resistant, if there is a bubble all your work is spoiled and you have to repeat again. With the Smooth-On company, I have benefited greatly from everything I have executed so far. The positives, the final result once removed from the mold, the print, all the details that can be achieved, have been very good.