This surrealistic painting was motivated by two things, colors (although that is often the case) and a desire to replicate a Hercules beetle.
I was thinking of working in candy colored pastel tones, but as is often the case, pastel transforms into vibrant and bright under my brush. The Hercules beetle I studied from a museum, and thus had many sketches of it, it was really fun to transform it into this colorful candy like bug.
The other side is covered in mushrooms, that seem to grow exactly where the wing was.
This is an original watercolor painting on 100% cotton paper. It is part of a series of work titled “what is life? what is death?” where insects are visually halved in two parts. On one side, the insect is living, on the other, it is covered in life, albeit itself dead.
On a microscopic level, he isn’t truly dead as the bacteria he was hosting and which permitted him to live is still alive.
And on an atomic level, the concept of death is nonsensical.
These are all questions and thoughts that came up when I started to divide these insects in two parts, the question of life is quite fascinating. Is a rock alive? Does that question even have a sense.