Artist Chris Trueman bought 200,000 live ants, smothered them to death with nail polish remover and arranged the bodies into this baby-cowboy art work. The piece took him thousands of dollars and years to complete, as Trueman “started to feel bad about killing all of the ants” and stopped, but resumed so that the first ants would not “died in vain.”
Unlike legitimized taxidermy art that only uses animals dead from natural causes, Trueman’s work is a mass murder graveyard.
Or not. The ants he purchased in batches of 20,000 are usually bought as food for reptiles.
We kill tons of insects in our daily domestic fumigation, but it seems that even the artist feels a bit unsettled by the piece. His inspiration: ants were the first living things he remembers hurting intentionally.
Without any moral crisis, Ripley’s Believe It or Not bought it right up for $35,000.