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!
Saturnia pyri, the giant peacock moth, great peacock moth, giant emperor moth or Viennese emperor, is a Saturniid moth which is native to Europe. The species was first described by Michael Denis and Ignaz Schiffermüller in 1775. It is the largest European moth, with a wingspan reaching 15–20 cm (6–8 in).
The giant peacock moth has a range that includes the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, northern Hungary, central and southern Serbia, Croatia, southern and eastern Bulgaria, southern Greece southern Turkey, western Syria, Lebanon, north Israel, southern Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Italy and extends into Siberia and North Africa. It is absent from the UK, though a small handful of individuals have been recorded, likely of captive origin.