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Published on Jul 10, 2013
There are many contemporary artists who use assistants to create works of art, but it's doubtful that any employ as many as John Knuth. Over 250,000 common house flies contributed to the completion of this body of paintings, living out their life cycle inside canvas-walled enclosures at the artist's Los Angeles studio. Knuth feeds the flies a mixture of sugar, water, and colored pigments that is drank and regurgitated millions of times over the course of six weeks. The resulting paintings are a record of this process, resulting in dense layers of chromatic fields sweeping across a surface comprised of countless tiny flyspeck. Knuth is drawn to the tensions between the controlled environment of his studio and the inherently non-social insects' unpredictable mark-making; a process that he feels mirrors contemporary society.
Video by Andy Featherston Produced by Bret Nicely
John Knuth would like to thank Pete Franciosa Steve Hanson International Art Objects Taylor Jacobson Charlie Kitchings Dan and Joann Knuth Kate Knuth Jeff Kovach Courtney Looney Drura Parrish Kyle Wilding Tuesday Yates