Artist: Butterfly

Gallery artist Brian Harris is a third-year graduate student at Mississippi State University.

Harris created "Butterfly Series" by combining his own acrylic and gesso paintings--which he purposely cracked in order to create textures--with photographs of various species of butterflies. He manipulated scans from each medium in Adobe Systems' Photoshop, using different layer modes and transparencies to create the final images in CMYK.

In his own words:

"Butterfly Series" is a response to the cliched image of the butterfly in art. In many paintings and illustrations, butterflies are benign and inviting symbols of beauty, due to their vivid color patterns and delicate forms. I wanted to explore the darker and more mysterious side of butterflies.

The patterns and colors that are so aesthetically pleasing to humans are viewed by animals as signs of danger. Bright patterns, such as that of the Monarch butterfly, warn natural enemies that the insect is poisonous. And the markings that resemble eyes on the hindwings of other butterflies are meant to fool predators into thinking they are the eyes of a larger animal.