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Byron Bratt (American, b. 1952)

The Changeling

Date: 1980
Medium: Mezzotint and acrylic wash
Object Dimensions: 18 x 18 in. (45.72 x 45.72 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the artist, 1999.004.03
Photo Credit: Jueqian Fang
Verbal Description: This square, painted print mimics a taxidermy butterfly specimen box. There are nine distinct, symmetrical butterflies displayed neatly in three rows and three columns. The background is a medium brown texture, perhaps burlap. The top right butterfly is camouflaged, its wings composed of the same burlap-like material. Moving down, the center-right butterfly is two-toned with brown horizontal stripes and the one below is solid black except for a red dot on either side of its abdomen. This bottom right butterfly is the smallest of the group and is perched on a butter yellow, soft-petaled flower, like a pansy. Returning to the top, middle column is the longest butterfly of the group, its wings have pink and chocolate splotches like a cow’s spots. Below, the center butterfly’s wings are visually linked to the bottom right one. That same butter yellow color creates a thick border around a black x at the center. At the bottom of the center row, a squat, dark grey butterfly adds some flourish with its curvy wings. Moving back up, the top left butterfly looks more like a tropical plant; what would be the midribs create an x shape radiating out from its body, splaying dark green veins diagonally across each mint green wing. Underneath is the least naturalistic pattern of the bunch. Running vertically down the center of each side of its wings is a chain of overlapping black and orange diamonds on misty gray wings. The bottom left corner has a butterfly with wings more like a bird. The top portion of the wings look like gray primary feathers reaching out to soar, the bottom wings mimic gray- and black-striped tailfeathers.

Collection List This object is a member of the following collections: