Artist Reimagines the Infamous Met Gala Cockroach Dressed as a Fabulous Attendee

Of all the invited guests to the 2023 Met Gala, there was one infamous party crasher. And no, it wasn’t a snubbed A-lister. It was a confused cockroach that was trying to escape the crowds but found itself at one of New York City’s biggest events. The insect tried its best to flee on-lookers and the camera, but its brief brush with fame was captured by amateur and professional photographers alike. By the end of the evening, the cockroach was a bonafide star.

At an event that’s all about the ensembles, the obvious question was, “Who was it wearing?” Well, artist Travis Chapman has an answer for us. He painted a portrait of the cockroach striking a pose on the “Colgate carpet” wearing a fashionable—if not a bit revealing—gown with a train and tiny jewels. Alone on the carpet, all eyes are on it, just like in the viral video shared online.

As strange as the painting is, it highlights the creativity and the fun of sharing a creation like this online. Chapman’s artwork has been popular on Reddit, where commenters have played along with his image. “She still looks great though,” one Redditor wrote. “Like, 40 days old great. Whoever said roaches are not in their prime after day 100 should be fired.”

Online fans were also calling for this image to be released as a print. Chapman listened, and you can now buy a print of the painting in his Etsy shop.

A cockroach went viral as it scurried across the carpet at the 2023 Met Gala. Artist Travis Chapman imagined the creature as an attendee—gown and all.

Chapman shared his painting on Reddit, where commenters had fun playing along with his handiwork.

by u/Calm_Entrepreneur_83 from discussion I painted that cockroach from the met gala
in popculturechat

by u/SakuraTacos from discussion I painted that cockroach from the met gala
in popculturechat

by u/justreddis from discussion Met Gala Roach, me, acrylic,2023
in Art

Travis Chapman: Instagram | Etsy

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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