In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died. The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing. I saved it and began to collect more dead insects. Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here.
- Lee Jones