Artist Creates Fantasy Sculptures By Repurposing Dead Insects

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An artistic form of recycling has an artist in Belgium creating exceptionally unique sculptures from the bits, bones, and barbs of insects.

Joos Habraken creates these insectoid sculptures, measuring from 8 to 15 centimeters tall, out of between 30 and 100 pieces of dead insects.

Each sculpture can contain parts from up to 30 individual insect species including beetles, grasshoppers, mantises, and butterflies.

Joos harvests the bug body parts from insects he finds on walks or purchases them from wholesalers.

“I feel like I’m creating a new species with a new life and story,” Joos says. “I start with an archetype like father, mother, witch, or benevolent king. These are things that people know, without them knowing they recognize them.”

Then Joos takes apart the bugs, modifies the pieces he wants to use, and mounts them on a stick before gluing them together.

“The hardest part is getting the details right because you’re using 30 different bugs, so you don’t know if the head will fit the body,” said the 28-year-old rock climbing instructor from Ghent, Belgium.

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