Junonia artaxia (African pansy)
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!
Junonia artaxia, the African pansy or commodore, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in eastern Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Lomami, Kabinda, Lualaba, Shaba and Tanganika) Burundi, Kenya, southern and western Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The habitat consists of Brachystegia woodland.
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