Don’t get me wrong. I love kitschy scrap-iron insects, even goofy ones made from VW Beetles. But the scrap-metal works of Edouard Martinet are on another plane of mechanistic existence. More than abstract robo-insects, we’re looking at accurate depictions of invertebrates, carefully assembled through selected mechanical parts. Let’s just bask in the bicycle-chain tarsi, shall we?
Images above giddily linked from awesome artblog Colossal and the Sladmore Gallery, where there is a heaping helping of insects, fish, frogs, and birds, all made from bits of machinery. The recipe for the grasshopper lists as thus:
Wings: Moped chain guards; abdomen: bike fender, dolex fender and old toys; rear legs: bike forks; forelegs: bike brakes; ends of legs: plugs for plaster walls; thorax and head: pieces of cars and bikes; antennae: bike spokes.
Though many other metal artists have similar recipes, the vintage parts in Martinet’s works are allowed to retain their individual histories, all while contributing to the sensibility of the living creature. The enjoyment of his works are heightened when you can accurately detect a vintage motorcycle headlamp in a beetle’s elytra, or car mirror fixtures in a damselfly’s distal coxae. As a sometime creator of assembled artworks, the sheer time and patience needed in order to assemble an accurate insect from metal parts is staggering and inspiring to me.