The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

Composition with BUTTERFLIES WINGS

Monday 6 June 2016, by Barbara Cogollos

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The region of Kuma Kunda in Togo is known for its many houses with colored doors and painted shutters by villagers. But this region is also very rich in butterflies and beetles. That is why artists of the village specialize in composition based on the wings of butterflies and insects.

The collage of wings is very fine and meticulous by its fragility and ephemeral nature of the butterfly and beetle. If the butterflies are not freshly caught then they must be softened in an airtight box on a wet cotton in which it was placed a little naphthalene crushed to prevent mold.

Contemporary artists were inspired by this technique such as Damien Hirst or Pierre Bettencourt. Great friend of Jean Dubuffet, Bettencourt has made many long trips in Oceania, India and especially in Africa. His work belongs to the movement of art brut. It expresses the mystery and sacredness of life. It is one of the contemporary artists exhibited and collected by Daniel Cordier in 1950-1960. Between 1963 and 2012, he is exposed six times in various places in France and he is present in the collections of the national museum of modern art in Paris, the Museum of Grenoble and the Contemporary Art Center of the Abbey of Auberive .

The work of Damien Hirst called Tranquility is the perfect example of his many kaleidoscopic paintings. The early work of Kaleidoscope was established in 2001 inspired by the decor of a Victorian tea. A wide range of butterfly wings were placed on a paint base, forming a mosaic of shimmering colors. Butterflies have been one of the first sources of inspiration for the artist. They appeared in his work throughout his career especially at the exhibition "In & Out of Love". The theme of life and death often comes in the work of Hirst, a fascinating theme for him. According to the artist, the butterfly’s association with religion and spirituality is also present and important in his work. Tranquility is impregnated with a strong sense of rest and quiet with this idea of spiritual journey. So this work invites us to the mediation and the contemplation. On the 13th october 2014, this composition was auctioned at $ 845 000.

In the Antic Greece, the word was the same for "Butterfly" and "soul". The use of butterflies gives a spiritual side to your African composition. Like the Hirst’s work, it invites us to contemplate these kaleidoscopic and geometric shapes. His decorative and mysterious aspect also plunges us into the art brut of Bettencourt and his sacred works.

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