Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Extinction by Association

I've been given a wonderful opportunity to include some artwork in artist Jasmina Cibic's http://www.jasminacibic.org/  upcoming project for the European Capital of Culture in Maribor, Slovenia. "The project is based on the story of discovery of an endemic beetle living in the
northern part of Slovenia, which is in danger of becoming extinct solely because of its name." ANOPHTHALMUS HITLERI is the beetle and the project calls for no research on the insect.  I, and other illustrators are to create an image, a proposed perception, with only the Latin name to draw upon.  The beetle, due its politically sensitive and offensive name, has become an afterthought to many texts.  Bringing awareness of this beetle's near extinction, Jasmina Cibic wants to mirror the uncelebrated history of the creature in her instillation. 

Watercolor on Arches 140lb Cold Press

Anopthalmia or anopthalmus is "without eye".  Seeing as how having that word as part of the beetle's name, I deduced that the creature would be evolved into a blind, pale colored insect with long antennae.  I included some reds and dark browns to draw comparison to the Nazi desert uniform.  Although I found it unlikely that the beetle would have visual characteristics to Hitler, knowing it was named by an enthusiast, I included the desert motif anyway.