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German Insects & Flowers

The Stick Insect Hunter was an art project that I started in mid 2003. It represented two bigger ideas. One part was to make a comprehensive showcase of my art in all it's forms, in a way a portfolio. The other idea was to create a dynamic documentation of my art process. For years I have been documenting all my notes, ideas and art and I decided it was time to bring those into the cyberworld. And not only that, it should also be continuous and instantaneous.
Coincidentally or not, it was also the time when weblogs became popular and started to reach the mainstream.

Initially I was very adamant to post one art work a day but I pretty soon realized that it had a negative impact on my art because I felt too pressured. The idea was right though. If you use a dynamic medium like a website and especially a blog it has to have interesting new stuff on a daily basis. Unfortunately it proved not to be my style (my batting average wasn't that bad though, I managed to pretty much consistently blog with a few exemptions).

Not too many people are looking at art and even fewer do so on the internet. Therefore I decided to produce a dead tree version of my website and such the : The Shy Stick Insect Hunter" magazine was born. The website you can bring to the bathroom and read it there. Just like my website the magazine is a "Gesamtkunstwerk" a syntheses of the arts, my all encompassing, slightly ridiculing classifier, created exclusively by me.
A one-of limited edition it is not for sale. Each hand signed copy is being handed out by me personally to friends, relevant and interested people.
Although the magazine was hugely popular, only a few people understood the concept, especially in the art community.

After about a year in mid 2004 my art focused more and more on photography and writing and I would only occasionally paint and much rarer I would sculpt.
About the same time I also shifted professionally away from graphic design towards photography and writing.
The "Shy Stick Insect Hunter" website which was mainly a photoblog by then was re-named the "Aggressively Shy Stick Insect Hunter" or "ASSIH".

I am in the lucky position that I can apply my art in my work and vice versa. For example I shoot social events for PR and income but at the same time I document tribes around me. I am cartooning with my camera.
Because of that I decided that there is no point in separating my professional life from me as an artist.
For that reason I hereby wrap up the ASSIH as a beautiful, 4 year comprehensive artwork and combine my photography and art websites into one.

Below you find the original message partially explaining what stick Insects had to do with it all.

The Shy Stick Insect Hunter

Hunting for stick insects is more than a job.
It is a devotion.

We stick-insect-people fondly call our little proteges "sticks".
In the new world they call them "walking sticks".
Germans politely address them as "Stabheuschrecken" and Filipinos call them : "kahoy-kahoy", although not many would know what you are talking about if you mention any of these to the average person.

Basically they all refer to the same thing.
Long, thin, stick-like bugs that spurt out a lot of slimy, green stuff when you step on them.
That is not exactly the scientific description of those creatures but it illustrates it well to the layman, which I assume you are since there are not many of us stick insect hunters.
I only know of a few spread across the world.
There are many more stick insect breeders.
There are even fewer stick insect hunters who perfected the hunt to an art form.
This is the point where I very cleverly wove stick insect hunting and art together.
There will be more.
Between other things, art is creativity with a concept and it is also complety useless.
And so is stick insect hunting.
But both are a lot of fun.

As the name implies I go out and hunt for stick insects.
For this purpose I usually seek out virgin rain forests in the far flung corners of Asia.
The hard part is to find a virgin forest not too far from a reliable supply of cold beer.
That pretty much narrows it down.
Many places have beer.
But there is not much forest left in the world and there are fewer countries where you will even have a hard time finding virgins.

 
 

 

The Art of Andy Maluche - copyright


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