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Carlos Amorales explores the effect of language and the possibility of communication through other means such as emotion, sound, gesture and symbol. His work is deeply personal—reflective of introversion and at times, obscure. It journeys into a dark world of fantasy, blurring the line between the real and the imagined.
Covering the walls and ceilings, the installation Black Cloud (2007/2019) is composed of hundreds and thousands of butterflies and moths made of cut paper. The artist modeled the insects after researching over 30 different species. Upon close observation, each tiny winged creature appears delicate and elegant but when viewed as a whole, the dense mass creates an overwhelming, surreal contrast. The uncanniness envelops the viewer and evokes an experience fluctuating between beauty and awe, the fanciful and the macabre, calm and calamity. The inspiration of the work came from a few different sources: annual butterfly migrations, a single black moth in a book Amorales read, and most importantly, the time he spent with his grandmother and his grief over her passing. Through the work, the artist manages to connect grand natural phenomena with intimate personal memories. As one wanders through the space, the insects seem to come to life and fly up in a swarm. Suspending life and death, Black Cloud continues our fascination with butterflies—a biologically unique life form that is able to metamorphose and transform from something ugly to magnificent.