INTERVIEW BY HECTOR PINEDA.
1. How long have you been painting insects, and why?
I began to paint exclusively insects and other non-anthropocentric subjects many years ago when I realized that the human race is the root of
all abominations, that nothing is or will be as useless and repulsive as the human animal, and that we are a voracious gangrene which
destroys all that is beautiful and original on Earthand then voids venoms and monstrosities.
2. I know that at first you had a phobia of insects. Tell us how it turned into fascination or obsession.
Like most people I felt an aversion, a primitive instinctive repulsion towards insects, a very natural and human, excessively human,way of
reacting to these beings, since in the course of history neither war nor natural disasters have caused as many deaths among the human
population as insect venoms and insect-borne diseases such as malaria, bubonic plague, encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever, typhus,
cholera, anthrax, dysentery, etc. One day I made up my mind to examine under all kinds of magnifying glasses and microscopes these
bearers of death, and I found that their bodies are veritable works of art of natural selection, ― the apex of species evolution ― and they also
offer endless aesthetic possibilities. This is how my phobia became a fixation, an obsession for collecting, studying, and rendering on canvas
the most perfect species that has existed on Earth.
3. Describe for us your technique. What kind of models do you use?
To make my paintings I use as models desiccated insects, living specimens and illustrations of insect anatomy that I have collected over the
years. I take pictures of them with macro photography equipment and modify the images using digital edition software in order to set up the
composition and emphasize the particular details I want to paint. Once I am satisfied with the composition, I use traditional painting media
such as oil, acrylic or watercolor to capture on canvas the perfection of insects. In series such as“Insect Anatomy” and “The Impaled” my
paintings depict dead insects because I have come to realize that even in death insects are more majestic than any living human being.
4. Which are your favorite insects?
Among my favorites is the anopheles mosquito, one of the main scourges of humanity. Its instinctive need to propagate itself has led its
legions to infect the four corners of the earth, bearing in its entrails the four different types of malaria that are lethal to humans. Another
favoriteof mine are grasshoppers of the family Acrididae whose hordes attain biblical dimensions, destroying the mainsources of food of the
human animal. Their huge swarms behave as one entity and are able to devour in a single week the harvest that might have fed a million
people during one year. From an aesthetic point of view, my favorite insects are coleopterans or beetles, the most diverse order in the animal
kingdom. They are veritable living jewels whose infinite variety of colors, shapes and textures I have rendered in my series “Chromatic
5. In some of your paintings there is a fusion of the insect with the human skull, what does this mean?
In the series “The Fall of the Human Empire” diverse coleopterans top human skulls that once harbored a brain which is now obsolete in
comparison to the power and perfection of insect evolution, symbolizing the superiority of instinct over reason and the total extinction of Homo
sapiens ― an ephemeral species created by nature solely as a momentary pastime to fill the emptiness between aeons. When the empires
of the human race finally fall and the memory of our hubris has faded to dust, insects will still be here just as they have been for millions of
6. Apart from knowing their anatomy, what else do you admire in insects?
What I most admire in these beings is their infinite capacity for mutation, adaptation and survival. Earth and all living species on it were
created as a result of destruction, violence and death, and insects have adapted perfectly to all thatnature has thrown in their way. They have
survived endless glacial cycles, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and mass extinctions, all the time waiting patiently in the deathbed of the
failed species of natural selection.
7. Will insects someday outlive the human race?
Many people have called me a heretic, a traitor to my own species, but in all the time spent painting and studying insects I have grasped a
truth few want to hear: if there is one species that will inherit the Earth, it is not the human animal but the race of insects, which creates with
each new generation multiple experiments in shape and function and manages to adapt to any adverse circumstance it is faced with including
the vile poisons generated by human technology. The industrial waste that pollutes our air, the pesticides that poison our food sources and the
radiation that destroys our very flesh area gentle perfume to insects. All these toxins that kill us are to insects a nectar within which they live,
reproduce and even become stronger, evolving an infinite variety of mutations and adaptations.
8. Which artists do you admire the most?
I admire the work of old naturalists and insect illustrators like Joris Hoefnagel, Dru Drury or Rösel von Rosenhof, as well ascurrent pioneers of
astrobiology painting who base their designs on insect anatomy, such as Adolf Schaller and Alex Ries.
9. Tell us a little about your coming projects.
I will begin a new series called “The Beholders” which may end up being one of my most extensive, and I will continue some of my most
emblematic series such as “The Fall of the Human Empire”, “The Impaled” and “Kimera Genomics”, in order to ready the second part of my
solo exhibition “Antinatural Selection”.
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|Anatomia Insecta II. Oil on canvas
|Insect Nebula. Acrylic and oil on canvas.
|Acrocinus Longimanus. Oil on canvas.
|Chromatic Entomology III. Oil on canvas.
|El Empalado III. Oil and acrylic on canvas.
|Microbiontes. Oil on canvas.
|Microbiontes. Oil on canvas.