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You”re going to stop for a moment when you see Yosman Botero”s artwork. That”s what anyone would do when confronted with the severed heads of furry, cute animals floating in glass cubes, eerily lit from below by a sickly green light. These disembodied heads seem to be submerged in some kind of awful preservative. The Bogota-based artist captured the heads of a fox, a rabbit, a panda, and a koala in painstaking detail. These works are hard to look away from, no matter how much you want to.

They”re not real animals. You might have guessed that. These four unfortunate critters are a series by Botero called Taxonomy. They”re actually optical illusions, where each part of the complete image is painted on a different layer of glass. When the layers are stacked together, the entire image is formed–in this case, the severed head of an adorable woodland creature–with a 3D effect.

(via Lost At E Minor)

As for the meaning or inspiration behind these, Botero hasn”t mentioned one. They”re fascinating images, though, and the viewer can draw their own conclusions. Maybe they”re about the fragility of life, or about the dangers of destroying the natural world. Perhaps they”re just a way to creep people out.

You can see more of Botero”s work on his website, as well as on Facebook, Behance, and Twitter.

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