Gavin Turk’s lithograph, Metamorphosis, is accompanied by a short text:
‘As he awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed into a gigantic insect.’ Quoting Kafka, Turk presents a comically anthropomorphized insect, standing upright on two legs, with arms poised as if about to reach for a pair of pistols in a bizarre insectoid shoot-out. Turk’s print is one of a portfolio of ten prints collectively entitled Bugs.
The portfolio was published by the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Produced as a fundraiser, the proceeds from the portfolio sales were dedicated to providing bursaries to support Byam Shaw students from overseas, particularly those from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and India. The works in the portfolio use various printmaking processes and share an insect theme which has been interpreted in diverse ways. The theme was set by the school principal, Alister Warman. Originally intended to refer specifically to insects found in London, it was conceived of as a sequel to another print portfolio published by the school in 1994, Nine London Birds. The decorative treatment deployed by a number of the artists involved contrasts with a subject matter commonly regarded as repugnant.
Text from Tate.org.uk