Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cockroach Art

A review in the Nov. 28 issue of Nature of an exhibition: "The Art of Arthropods". An excerpt:
A Californian entomologist uses insects as living paintbrushes to create abstract art. After loading water-based, non-toxic paints on to the tarsi and abdomens of insects, Steven Kutcher directs his bugs to create their 'masterpieces'.

Kutcher controls the direction and movement of his arthropods — such as hissing cockroaches (pictured), darkling beetles and grasshoppers — by their response to external lighting. The result is controlled and random movements, created in a co-authorship between the artist — with predetermined ideas about colour, form, shape and creative flexibility — and his living brushes.

Kutcher's art is more than just a novelty, because it reveals the hidden world of insect footprints. "When an insect walks on your hand, you may feel the legs move but nothing visible remains, only a sensation," he says. "These works of art render the insect tracks and routes visible, producing a visually pleasing piece."

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