Morpho Amathonte (2014)

Alexander James (1967-)

Chromogenic print flush mounted on aluminium. Artist’s proof (unique), signed verso.
Newly-framed as pictured

67cm x 67cm in the frame


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Chromogenic print flush mounted on aluminium. Artist’s proof (unique), signed verso. £6,500 (inc VAT)

Fine art photographer Alexander James is best-known for his remarkable images of butterflies using a uniquely complex and precise process. So complex and precise that it can take months to set-up just a single photograph The works are created within a velvet lined tank of highly purified water. The butterflies are placed in a state of suspended animation and then delicately lowered into the water to be captured on film. Once removed from the water, the butterfly springs back to life unfazed. Even more remarkably James breeds the butterflies himself. “It’s
a monastically engaging process. I was breeding from one generation to the next, kind of the holy grail of entomology,” he describes. “I just don’t see any purpose in anything I don’t have an emotional connection to. So these are my kids, flying around the studio. It sounds very elegant but when you wake up with enough bug shit on your pillow you’ll soon change your mind.”

“James likes leaving viewers ‘unsettled’ and a little unsure of what they are looking at, nine out of ten people that see the works for the first time think they are, in fact, paintings.” (The New Statesman 2020)