Images courtesy the artist
Entomological species are an indispensable and vital kind, often unobserved and ignored by the hectic human world surrounding them. Multidisciplinary artist Géza Szöllősi’s alien-like insect sculptures are less easy to ignore. In his Kitin project, Szöllősi transforms fragile segments of dissected insects into art pieces that resemble robotic toys. “My current Kitin series recalls my childhood when it was difficult to get hold of Western action hero toys so I fabricated them myself from materials that were at hand,” Szöllősi tells The Creators Project.
He continues, “I grew up in the 80s on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain. There were, of course, a few Western products that nevertheless made it through to the country but they were very expensive compared to the salaries of the time. We even watched Hollywood movies on illegally copied VHS. I was certainly impressed by that visual world. I wanted to design and make them.”
Each peculiar figure is meticulously constructed from parts of various beetles. The large compound eyes, wispy antennae, and slender proboscises of the insects give Szöllősi’s small sculptures a sci-fi and otherworldly appearance. “I dismantle the bugs’ thorax and abdomen. They get sorted into groups and then just like with a robot, I attach one part to another until I have the finished piece,” Szöllősi explains.
“The crafty bit of it all is to look over the hundreds of bug parts and decide which one comes after the other. I do not know in advance what kind of a character it will turn out to be as I cannot fully control the process. Unlike Lego blocks, parts here are not compatible with each other. The greatest advantage of the montage technique is that even the creator is surprised by the finished piece,” he says.
Each sculpture is an expression of Szöllősi’s appreciation for organic materials and his ability to reimagine natural structures and concepts. “Working with organic materials usually divides the audience. It is not intended to be a provocation though. Organic materials—be it raw meat, fur, the exoskeleton of a bug or bone—serve as materials for my works purely because of their infinite resolution, minute details, and prefabricated nature. At the end, a metamorphosis occurs where the old and new entities simultaneously appear. A sculpture is especially good when those reflect controversy or inevitability,” Szöllősi explains.
“The various preservation techniques (formaldehyde, plasticization, or synthetic resin) all provide both visual and contextual bonuses. Resin gives the opportunity to play exciting optical games although, originally, it emerged as a storage material. I want to create objects which slightly disturb with their very existence but make one feel a prickly sensation in the stomach! What the heck!”
To view more of Szöllősi’s work, click here.