Finger-painted by a kindergartener? Think again: foot-painted by a cockroach.

Cockroach art

“Eleven Steps” by Steven R. Kutcher
Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa)
With gouache on paper, 2003.
Please check out his website at

This is what the artist looks like:


(Hissing cockroach photo courtesy of berndhaug on Flickr.)

Kutcher has done some absolutely amazing work using insects as paintbrushes. It’s truly a melding of science and art. Science not just because it’s, like, bugs, and stuff. His premise is that he’s making an invisible thing — the tracks of an insect — visible. I like work of this kind, which translates between the senses — in this case between touch and sight. More on translating between the senses later this week.

On his website, Kutcher describes the experience of creating art using a paintbrush that moves on its own, and essentially has a language of its own — a different one for each species — that he must learn to work fluently with. Besides the hissing cockroach, he has created paintings with the honey bee, the sarcophagid fly, the monarch butterfly, the tiger moth, the katydid, and more.