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INterSECTS: Where Arthropods and Homo Sapiens Meet

  • Art
Intersects at NYPL
Photograph: Peter Kuper, Courtesy of NYPL /W.W.Norton

Time Out says

Award-winning graphic novelist Peter Kuper's intricate drawings of insects—bees, ants, cicadas, butterflies, silkworms, beetles, dragonflies, and more—show them "flying, crawling, and interacting with the various rooms of the Library’s 42nd Street building, where they will be showcased. "This bug’s-eye view of the building’s Beaux-Arts architectural details illuminates the iconic spaces in a completely original way." Kuper has been working on an upcoming graphic novel, INterSECTS, and had the chance to explore the building and its rooms while they were empty during the pandemic. It was there that he realized that the building would be a perfect vehicle for his concept.

Viewers of his work can access commentary by experts online and via QR codes, such as Jessica Ware on dragonflies, Gene Kritsky on cicadas, Michael Engel on bees, Barrett Klein on scarab beetles, and Mark W. Moffett on ants with Mexico’s leading poet/novelist, Homero Aridjis, reading his poem "A Una Mariposa Monarcha."  The audio talks are accompanied by the insect-inspired music of David Rothenberg. All of this plus downloadable coloring book art will be available on January 7 at

"There are roughly 10 quintillion insects on Earth," Kuper says. "They touch everything we do in our daily lives, our economy, our very survival. Yet most of us barely notice their existence except to swat them away. I have been fascinated with these amazing creatures my whole life, so to be able to do research at the Library investigating them and how they’ve interacted with humans over the centuries was a true passion project. To then have the opportunity to incorporate the Library’s iconic spaces into that artwork is incredibly meaningful. I hope visitors not only enjoy the images and see the Library anew, but they’ll particularly view arthropods through a new lens, and appreciate the beauty and mystery of these tiny giants that are essential to our planet and our lives."

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver


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