I always loved bugs.* Beetles, worms, crickets, moths, cicadas, you name it, I played with it. Yes, I was that kid. But I don’t think I loved bugs as much as Christopher Marley does. Interestingly enough, his obsession with the creepy crawlies started as a powerful fear of them. The Oregon-born former print and runway model overcame his revulsion, and found ways to use the world’s most beautiful insects to make stunning works of art. Marley’s mosaics are composed using the obviously beautiful members of the insect kingdom (is that a thing?), butterflies, moths, beetles, and the like, alongside the less obviously lovely insects, to great effect.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that there are three kinds of bugs I can’t stand. I cannot abide spiders, anything from the roach family, or mosquitoes. And yes, I know how stupid it is to dislike spiders, so don’t bother trying to talk me out of it.
Here’s the best part. Far from reducing the world’s insect population, Marley is actually encouraging these populations’ preservation:
“Marley works with local collectors all over the world to source his material. . . These locals are carefully selecting adults and encouraging the growth of the collectors are ensuring that the larvae, eggs and pupae have a chance to grown and reproduce themselves. Indigenous families care for the land, protect it from clear cutting and help support the insect populations all while earning a sustainable income.”
So to sum up, he’s handsome, he’s talented, he’s eco-conscious. Oh, and he’s kind of funny:
“I have a love-hate relationship with damselflies. Their dainty bodies and lightly iridescent wings typify elegance and grace, yet prepared in a structured pattern add an architectural, purposeful feel to the piece. However, damselflies are among the most delicate and fragile of insects. Until they are hermetically sealed in their frames, they are totally unstable – warping from a simple change in barometric pressure or humidity. My vocabulary has greatly expanded since I began working with damselflies. And not for the better.”
Honestly, the idea that these gorgeous, delicate, fairy-like creatures inspire quantities of cursing makes me love them even more. I hope you enjoy them, too!