Artists often use strange material for their creations (just take Siobhan Meow's use of cat feces or Norwegian artist Josephine Ryan's coffee paintings for example). But Russian artist Vadim Zaritsky's use of butterfly wings in his work may be part of a contemporary art trend.
After all, other artists, such as Damien Hirst, have not been so cautious in their use of live butterflies in the name of art. While some might consider the use of butterfly wings cruel, Zaritsky assures that he only uses the wings of dead butterflies that that collectors have donated or that he's comes across on roads or pathways in his hometown of Lipetsk, according to the Russia & India report.
"If the wings are damaged, if they have partially faded, specialists would usually put them aside," Zaritsky told the the outlet. "It’s a shame to throw them away, but you cannot use them either."
Zaritsky incorporates the recycled butterfly wings into his paintings, which depict a variety of scenes. Despite the delicate makeup of the material, Zaritsky told local newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the wings do not lose their brightness over time.
Though Zaritsky only quit his day job as a Russian police officer last year, he has amassed more than 100 works created from butterfly wings over the past five years, with each piece taking him anywhere from one week to several months to compose.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Zaritsky has received critical comments from vistors who've thought the butterflies died for his works, but the allegations may just come with the territory.
Check out the variety of subjects in Zaritsky's butterfly wing paintings in the gallery below.