On My Top by Mark Loughney

On My Top by Mark Loughney

I call these little striped characters Botflies. They’re pupae…and they represent a transitional life stage. Their black and white stripes are indicative of a prisoner, but they seem to have an innate bouncy joyfulness that seems ready to bust out of their shiny chitinous exoskeleton. Prison is a land of repetition and regimentation, so I’ve depicted that in my paintings by organizing my Botflies into rows and columns. In ON MY TOP the beetle represents an oppressive force with its jaws clamped onto my head. Not a pretty thought, and the actual botfly animal is also a disgusting little creature that pupates under human skin, then pops out like a slick maggot…(you sick yet?) … but every creature can be cute if you look at it in the right light. – Loughney

Prison Portrait Project – article by Marshall Project. Mark is also featured in and on the cover of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Nicole Fleetwood

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[Image Description: The golden background of this piece contains many egg-shaped botflies. Their stripes and eyes are different pastels–green, pink, yellow, blue, and purple. In the foreground, a beetle with hairy legs sits atop a much nearer botfly with its pincers clamped so tightly against its head that a small drop of green blood is welling up. The botfly’s black eyes stare straight ahead, and black and white stripes encircle its body.]

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