Carlos Amorales has a thing for moths. Over the past five years, Amorales produced thousands of life-size paper cutouts of moths and covered the walls of several major museums and galleries around the world with them as part of his Black Cloud installation. For the exhibit, Amorales replicated 36 different types of moths, which were then hand glued to the walls of the space. The are at once elegant and captivating, and the contrast of thousands of black moths on white walls is striking. But because of their color, they also have a somewhat threatening, ominous quality.
Amorales first displayed Black Cloud at the Yvon Lambert Gallery in New York with them in 2007. In 2008, he repeated the feat, displaying the moths again at Philadelphia Museum of Art, and again at Espacio AV, a former boroque church in Spain that has been converted into an art space. In the former church, it took 14 people working around the clock for five consecutive days to install all 30,000 moths in the show.
Individually, the paper moths are beautiful, elegant, and benign, but when clustered together in such large groups, they take on a more ominous quality. “Multiplied to create a dense mass with both wondrous and threatening qualities, Black Cloud becomes a surreal yet sublime gathering of insects delicately poised in sculptural formations that suggest the potential for harm, destruction, and irreversible doom,” explained the curators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Images via Yvon Lambert