LEPIDOPTERA PORTRAITS, is a project about looking at butterflies and moths in a broader than natural history context. In this series butterflies and moths are shown using the means and aesthetic that are normally used photographing portraits of people or as groups in simple studio settings. This body of work explores the facial expressions and emotions of these subjects and the viewers response to seeing these insects in this unusual magnified context.
Photography as a medium makes it possible to see tiny objects beyond what the bare human eye can see. The faces of the butterflies and moths, in these portraits are considerably larger than life size. This presentation creates an encounter where the viewer can examine the expressions of these individuals in a human scale.
Most specimens used for this body of work are from a collection of butterflies and moths that the artist collected at age 12. The dusty boxes were preserved over the years and later found a new life in the context of this body of work. Some of the specimens have been collected later on, found dead by the side of the road after being hit by a passing car or randomly found from other locations.
The majority of the images in the series are individual portraits, there are some pictures of couples and group portraits as well. The process of shooting these portraits of these fragile specimen is destructive. Frail subjects lose their antennas, wings and finally start to fall completely apart due to exessive heat and handling during the shoot...only the images remain.