Boloria selene & Junonia atlites
I didn’t think I’d be painting butterflies. I thought it was such a clichéd, kitschy topic, so colorful, girlish, tender. None of these things. The variety of colors and shapes of butterfly wings is shocking, it is an endless treasure trove of inspiration. It was through this beauty that we pinned them to our walls and looked at these dead bodies without spirit. My butterflies are dead from the beginning. They lack soul, flat and still, only the colors of their wings vibrate. These lifeless, scaled jewels allow us to reflect on the beauty of the world, its diversity, and remind us of our determination to acquire beauty at any cost, at the cost of our lives. These are not hyper-realistic images, they are only supposed to be a simulation of the beauty of nature, a bit flattened, curled and remixed, torn, decomposed. The torn out wings hang in the void of paper, but no one has died, no one has suffered the fatal blow of a pin to feed our soul. Long live the butterflies!
Due to modern agriculture, most of the grassland habitats that sustain Boloria selene are fragmented or lost all together in favour of farmland. Because of this, the small pearl-bordered fritillary has seen a serious drop in population across Europe, in some places as much as 80%. Factors including limited habitat range, low dispersal rate, and strong food specialization also contribute to population loss. Despite modern conservation efforts, the number of small pearl-bordered fritillaries is still declining. The North American populations appear to be affected in the same way, at least in the continental United States.
Junonia is a genus of nymphalid butterflies, described by Jacob Hübner in 1819. They are commonly known as buckeyes, pansies or commodores. This genus flies on every continent except Antarctica. The genus contains roughly 30 to 35 species.
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