Animal Studies Journal

Abstract

Paintings and insects might seem like odd companions. In this paper I describe how a series of paintings I made depicting insects creates associations between mimesis and mimicry in order to flag a sort of protective self-referentiality – one where painting resists its proverbial ‘end’ and insects are presented as vital new orders. Drawing upon art historical references, such as Surrealism and the modernist grid, I argue that playing on these references and the compositional effects of camouflage enlivens our regard for the sensuous worlds of both insects and painting. I conclude by exploring how paintings of insects are powerful metaphors for imagining new non-hierarchal relationships between humans and non-humans.