One of the largest broods of cicadas is expected to hatch in the coming days for the first time in 17 years, and it won’t be long before the bug’s distinct chirp inundates New Jersey.
They emerge from the ground in cycles, once every 17 years, when the soil temperature at about 8 inches below the surface reaches a steady 64 degrees. Within hours of appearing, the bugs go through a metamorphosis, transforming from a flightless, slow-moving nymph stage into a large, flying insect.
Soon after they are swarming the skies, often in tremendous numbers, filling the air with their distinctive mating call – a choppy chirp that, when amplified by the thousands, provides a steady hum under the summertime sun.
That got me thinking of my favorite insect artist/designer Christopher Marley, founder of a company called Pheromone. Christopher arranges insects in the most cleanly symmetrical form possible and displays them in a perfectly antiseptic, inorganic presentation; effectively diminishing the fear of reprisal that large bugs tend to inspire.
The Coleoptera Mosaics are one of his trademark creations and among the most enjoyable to execute. Each piece is created with careful attention to the flow of negative space, complimentary coloration, and the meticulous preparation and selection of each specimen. The appendages are tucked under the body so as not to detract in form or reaction from the striking display of nature’s brilliance. Colors are natural and as many are structural instead of pigmented, as durable as any color in the animal kingdom. Museum quality, 8-ply, acid-free mats generously offset the wash of iridescence in deep, architectural, hermetically-sealed frames. Each piece is signed and labeled and no two are exactly alike. Learn more about the process of turning insects into framed pieces of art in this video.
I wonder if Christopher will be in New Jersey in the upcoming weeks :)