Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Butterflies are the new Pirates

Yes, indeed. There has been an undercurrent of butterflies fluttering through our culture for some time, and soon they will be as omnipresent as pirates. They appear in art, crafts, fashion. Tell me this installation by Japanese artist/designer/stylist Kiroshi Kuroda is not piratical?

or that the graphic impact of this black and white will not catch on:

Consider the hypnotic effect of French artist Phillipe Caillaud's spirals of butterflies;

Aurores 1 and detail

I love how he incorporates ephemera, including vintage photographs, playing cards and especially, maps. Some works are made of dragon or damsel flies, rather than butterflies. Full marks for elegance and simplicity of his web portfolio design! Flash-addicted artists, please take note.



Mars (detail)

Piérides de la route (detail)

This reminds me of work of the previously-blogged Elsita (Elsa Moro). She had a show in 2007 which involved a lot of flying things. The work "One Hundred Butterflies" also involves a spiral of butterflies (& moths & dragonflies & damselflies). Each one represents a famous woman:

Interesting that there is a sub-theme of spirals of multimedia butterflies.

Speaking of multimedia butterflies, check out these knit papillons by Chevalier-Masson (Belgian duo Anne Masson & Eric Chevalier):

"Les deux font la paire" , 2006 (Galerie Les Drapiers, Liège). {The title means 'the two make a pair'}

Of course, there is the gorgeous work of British printmaker, book and multimedia artist John Dilnot, many of which feature butterflies or moths. His work captures the magic of the microcosm and the Wunderkammer.

Moths Collection (26 x 19x 7cm)

U.S. sculptor "Michelle Stitzlein creates found object art / sculpture from recycled materials, including piano keys, broken china, license plates, rusty tin cans, electrical wire, bottlecaps, and other miscellaneous items." These include enormous (check the dimensions!), amazing butterflies and moths.

I could go on....

{Though familiar with many of these artists, the archives at dear ada were a great resource for finding many of these butterflies in contemporary art.}


  1. wow! amazing line up ! I've been drooling over the first image for a while now. The shocks butterflies made me laugh, thanks for this post!

  2. You are very welcome... a particular obsession of mine. Thanks for commenting!



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