Surreal Swarm of 15,000 Paper Butterflies Invades a 19th-Century Building

Black Butterfly Installation

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

For years, multidisciplinary artist Carlos Amorales has enchanted us with his striking series of black butterfly installations. Called Black Cloud, this ongoing project places swarms of paper butterflies in unexpected sites, including galleries, churches, and, most recently, an art foundation in Italy.

For his solo exhibition, The Accursed Hour, Amorales has filled the Fondazione Adolfo Pini with 15,000 fluttering insects. As they cling to ceilings and perch on walls, the butterflies transform the beautiful 19th-century building into a scene straight out of a dream.

Black Cloud‘s inspiration, however, is not entirely surreal. Through its emotive imagery, the large-scale installation “speaks to us of extremely current discrepancies and tensions throughout the world”—especially, as the foundation explains, in Mexico, Amorales' native country.

In addition to these symbolic paper creatures, The Accursed Hour also includes a collection of silhouettes from Life in the Folds, a series that explores and the existence of human violence. Along with an animated video, revealing storyboards, and other installed works, Black Cloud and Life in the Folds showcase Amorales' eclectic yet unified approach to his practice.

The Accursed Hour is currently on view at the Fondazione Adolfo Pini until July 8, 2019.

See a swarm of black paper butterflies take over the Fondazione Adolfo Pini.

Paper Butterflies

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Paper Butterflies

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Paper Butterflies

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Black Cloud by Carlos Amorales

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Black Cloud by Carlos Amorales

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Black Butterfly Installation

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Black Butterfly Installation

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Carlos Amorales: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Andrea Rossetti and Studio Amorales.

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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