Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
by Andy Steiner
November - December, 1999, page 128
In the beginning, there was a moth. It was beige-gray with splendid red splashes on its wings. For artist Michael Branca, the moth - joined by other dried up bugs - became the centerpiece in his painting/sculpture The Last Supper (Real Dead Bug Version). Branca, a 25-year-old graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, created this work as a part of a series that features dead bugs in familiar poses. Branca says he wasn't commenting on Christianity when he created The Last Supper; he was interested in finding an appropriate way to showcase the beauty of the bugs. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful;" he says, The comments I like most are when people say, 'I'm almost offended by this work, but I realize that there's a certain reverence to it.'"
Animal rights activists take note: Branca never kills the insects he uses in his art. He only works with bugs he finds dead. He encourages art enthusiasts (and amateur entomologists) to send found dead bugs to: Mike's Real Dead Bugs (FMI, please email mike(at)mikebranca(dot)com.
Disclaimer: All bugs collected by Mike's Real Dead Bugs are genuine "Found Dead." Mike's does not condone the capturing, squishing or spraying of innocent live bugs for fun, art or profit. Mike's does condone the swatting of pesty, stinging bugs for personal comfort.