He Lets Creepy-Crawlies Get Their Feet Wet as Painters

By Nick Thomas
Special to
The Washington Post
Sunday, August 19, 2007; Page N01

In the somewhat obscure world of animal art -- where chimps, horses and elephants learn to grip paint-laden brushes and thrash randomly at a canvas to create abstract paintings -- Steven Kutcher's "bug art" stands out. Commanding a team of animal artists far too small to hold any paintbrush, Kutcher uses insects as living, moving paintbrushes to fashion his art.

"I'll take a bug in my hand and, leg by leg, load the paint onto each leg," says Kutcher, 63, from his Los Angeles home. The bugs -- flies, cockroaches and beetles -- are then let loose on a prepared canvas to scratch out their "masterpieces."

A keen environmentalist, Kutcher ensures his paint-soaked insects are unharmed by the ordeal. "I use water-based, nontoxic paints that easily wash off," he says. "I have to take good care of them. After all, they are artists!"
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