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Christopher Marley - Salem, OR


Christopher Marley:

“I haven’t always loved bugs…

"Though I spent most of my childhood catching snakes, raising lizards and dreaming of Komodo Dragons, I was terrified of anything with more than four legs. My phobia became stifling when I began traveling at 19 years old. After two tumultuous years in South America, I spent several years in and out of Southeast Asia and Africa with little improvement.

"Then, one fateful night in a Bangkok artisan market I stumbled upon a group of handicapped people selling what appeared to be small marsupials crammed into cheap frames. Upon closer examination I realized they were bugs! I was overcome with horror, nausea and—what’s this?—a surging fascination.

"As a young artist, my subject matter had always been fantastical and macabre but I had never had the opportunity to examine insects in a less than life threatening environment. Now, I was enthralled by the size, colors, ridiculous shapes and perfect mechanics of creatures that I was seeing up close and harmless for the first time.

"Years later, while in Cape Town, I mustered up the courage to dismantle the frames I had been collecting, scrape out the insects held captive in such thoughtless presentation, and make something interesting for myself. The experience of actually handling the specimens and using them as a medium of design opened up a Pandora’s Box for me. Years of study in Entomology followed, then excursions to ridiculously remote locales to collect and observe selected species in their own habitats.

"As my fascination with insects was inspired by a desperation to avoid them, the presentation is antiseptic. Minimalist to escape the claustrophobia that almost universally accompanies one’s interactions with arthropods. Perfectly symmetrical so that the insects themselves and the designs they comprise evoke feelings of structure, mechanics and form rather than slithering and clicking. An industrial designer’s fantasy rather than an entomological quagmire. Pheromone is a chemical stimulant that insects release to attract one another—and they’ve been known to seduce the occasional human too.”

* View the artwork of Christopher Marley in the Fine Art Gallery section of our website.

* Please call 1-800-541-2388 or email info@prairieedge.com for further information or with any questions.