Wallinger’s chosen candidate for the ‘Bugs’ portfolio is another insect pest. The Colorado beetle, indigenous to America, became a major threat to cultivated potato crops having rapidly developed resistance to DDT and other chemical pesticides. It spread from America to most of Europe and the Soviet Republic in the 1950s.* In the UK it is a notifiable quarantine pest and so far has not become established here.
The reference in the title of the print to a popular variety of potato underlines the irony in the work: the creation of the image is achieved using the very target and victim of the insect’s destructive power.
(*The term Колорадо from the Ukrainian and Russian term for the Colorado beetle, is currently used as a derogatory name for pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine.)
The ten works which comprise 'Bugs – the Print Portfolio' were generously donated by the artists for publication by the Byam Shaw School of Art in London to use as a means of raising funds for post-graduate scholarships. The series was produced in 2000 in an edition of 90.