|In and Out of Love exhibit, 2012|
No, the butterflies were not an endangered species.
Yes, their life was cut short: from a couple of months to a couple of days.
To me, using butterflies for their beauty and their ethereal qualities to the point that you, in a way, steal the life out of them and then just go collect more is like finding a unicorn and letting it die in a cage just so people can enjoy it for a little while, and your own life span (or for an artist, time in the spot light) can be increased.
I know, I sound a bit cynical.
Worse yet? The way I interpret such installations is that they're pure shock value. Don't get me wrong, I think shock value can be a wonderful thing, but I don't like when I feel like that might be all the artist has going for them.
Or maybe he was looking to bring some attention and hype to his early butterfly paintings? That would be an intelligent move on his part.
|In and Out of Love (Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays), 1991|