Blatta / Cockroach, 2000

Blatta / Cockroach, 2000, Ink and watercolor on paper, 30.3 × 40.2 cm, 50 × 60 × 2.8 cm (framed)

Moth precipitating on the clothsIn the 1990s – inspired by the moths festering in her own closet and consuming her textile artworks – Parrocchetti began depicting common moths as intricate and resilient creatures. These studies, which also included lice, grasshoppers, scorpions, cockroaches, spiders and bugs, challenged her subjects’ ordinariness and presented these creatures as potent lifeforms.

Parrocchetti’s interest became deeply methodic once she began visiting the Sormani Library in Milan to retrieve natural history manuals and zoology texts. She would photocopy sections of them (especially those with anatomical reproductions of insects), and often jotted down or transcribed definitions of the different species she came across. After meeting with the entomologist at the Museum of Natural History, she drew her first artwork titled In picchiata nei panni (Nosediving in the cloths) (1997) following scientific illustrations.

In many of her insect drawings, like this one of the cockroach, she would often mimic these entomological formats by including the Latin and common names of these creatures.