This year, for the first time, I am making select prints of my photographs extremely affordable for those ordering during the holiday season. The reason is simple. I know a portion of my sales go to parents gifting their budding young entomologists something buggy to hang on their walls. These are often not families who easily afford fine art pricing, however, so I have assembled a new gallery of 30 favorite photographs priced nearly at cost, up to 80% off depending on the size:
The pieces are printed by the professional Bay Photo labs using high-quality paper and archival photo inks, and I have been happy with their results over the years. Bay Photo will also custom mat & frame images if you choose “add frames & more” when you check out.
Sale prices extend to January 1st. If you’d like your prints to arrive by Christmas under a 3-5 day shipping option, order by December 12th.
Doors open at 6:00 pm, February 25th, at Foellinger Hall on campus. This year’s theme is International Ant Films, featuring the awful-yet-inexplicably-awesome ant thrillers Glass Trap (2005) and Bone Snatcher (2003).
The film festival also hosts a living insect zoo, an art contest, face-painting, and more! Visit the event web page for details.
And one more thing. Not only is this year’s theme amazingly anty, the accompanying artwork is well above par. Students and postdocs held a t-shirt design contest and the entries have been particularly inspired:
An impressive wave of public protest followed, and this morning the video was pulled. Seems people take easy offense at myrmecophilous Jesus.
I find the outcry puzzling. The point of crucifixes in general is to depict Christ’s suffering. Not just a gentle reminder, mind you. They are an in-your-face rendering of blood, guts, anguish, and pain. Jesus was beaten, spat upon, tortured, mocked, summarily nailed to a log, and strung up for an excruciating death by suffocation. If that wasn’t enough, then he was speared.
It isn’t as though Christian art tip-toes around this imagery, either. Christian- and especially Catholic- iconography has a distinguished tradition of graphically exploring the crucifixion.
Sometimes, “acceptable” Christian art is explicitly gruesome.
So, what is wrong with Ant Jesus?
As I understand it, “A Fire in My Belly” is about suffering from AIDS in deeply Catholic Mexico. Although unconventional, the piece is squarely in the tradition of Christian art- the crucifix as a medium for anguish- rather than a desecration of it.
The whole video incorporates the image of Jesus as a dying, tortured man like those with AIDS: “unclean” as the audio shrieks over the image, rejected, covered by insects. It splices that image with grotesque attempts to sew a loaf of bread back together, to sew a human being’s lips back together, along with desperate images of fire and decay. We are looking at the hysterical images of a dying man suddenly surrounded by the dying, overcome by the attempt to sew life back together. To see a rejected Jesus left on the cross and on the ground to be covered by ants, is, in this context, clearly neither offensive nor heresy; it’s orthodoxy, for Pete’s sake, with the death of Jesus one of countless images of suffering and isolation.
*incidentally, the ants used in the film are Pogonomyrmex harvester ants in the barbatus species complex. These are native to a part of the world where Catholic imagery is especially heavy.
But, the notion I might be an artist never sat well with me. Artists project vision. Artists express personal and societal statements. Artists channel themselves through their medium. I often recall Andrew Wyeth’s 200+ paintings of his secret muse Helga, for example. That’s art.
What I do is far more mundane.
I am a collector. I collect images of insects.
Once I’ve captured a solid photograph of a particular species, my interest wanes. It’s in the bag. Time to move to the next ant on the wish list. That’s collecting, in pure form, unadulterated.
I suppose you could think of my methods as involving artistry. That doesn’t sit well with me either, though. A better word is craftsmanship. I am proud of my work, and it’s a craftsman’s pride. My collection of insect photos is, I like to think, well made. But it’s not art.