A Bug’s Life

Mixed-media artist Tara Sellios's latest collection provides commentary on the cycle of life. —Sean McGowan

tara sellios

No. 7 digital C-print, from the Testimony series, starting at $1,200, Gallery Kayafas.

“I think of my work as theater, with each collection of images like an act in a play,” says mixed-media artist Tara Sellios. Since graduating from the Art Institute of Boston in 2010, her work has been largely influenced by art history. “I love altarpiece paintings and the surreal work of Hieronymus Bosch,” she says. “There is a sense of majesty and sacredness to it that has stood the test of time.”

Her latest collection, Testimony, provides commentary on the cycle of life. The idea was to convey how nature triumphs over decay. In preparation for each shoot, she creates the “story” out of moth and beetle skeletons, which she attaches to dried animal bones with thin wire and glue. “I wanted it to feel like one of those Bacchic feasts that occurred during the Renaissance, filled with drunkenness and lust,” she says. “This is the aftermath.”