THE BUTTERFLY CASE
2019 - 2023
The Butterfly Case is a series of mixed media sculptures, installations, and other interdisciplinary artworks merging religious elements with components of entomological displays. This immersive multi-media solo exhibition touches on themes of apathy, racism, and classicism towards groups including minorities, migrants, and the houseless through ornate, precious, doctrine-evoking displays. The artworks include butterflies, mirrors, panhandlers’ signs, homeless’ begging cups, and many other objects and media used as vehicles for introspection. The artworks are meant to ask the viewer to consider the value of those living and reflect on how we each treat all humans.
These images are from installations and artworks already exhibited in previous art shows and exhibitions.
A PERFORMANCE ARTWORK BY BERNARDO VALLARINO IN COLLABORATION WITH TATTOO AND FINE ARTIST DAVID ALCANTAR.
"I AM" is a monochromatic tattoo of a pair of butterfly wings separated by a “T” pin, a symbol widely used in “The Butterfly Case”. The 9 x 12” back tattoo took 5 hours of continuous tattooing by artist David Alcantar during a private event on Good Friday 2022. This date was intentionally chosen to connect the tattoo with the Christian belief of sacrifice and sin absolution observed on that solemn day. By enduring hours of pain, I am referencing flagellation, a Catholic practice of enduring physical pain or discomfort as means of cleansing sin. It is important to point out that pain and bloodletting as a form of purification is part of other religious and spiritual rituals. I chose to engrave my skin with the butterfly symbol to acknowledge and somehow take responsibility, “cleaning my sins,” of my own short-comings of the topics I address in The Butterfly Case, which are social apathy, racism, classism, and elements of cultural appropriation. Alcantar’s tattoo expertise and fine arts skills are crucial to this performance, not to mention the significant complementary relationship between this performance and his ongoing project about art and tattooing called “Skin in the Game”. During the process of this performance, a limited number of prints will be taken directly from the artist’s back as a means of record keeping and remembrance of the performance beyond the image on his skin.
VIDEO CREATED AND GENERIOUSLY PROVIDED BY SUNDACE AND FORT WORTH ART FAIR