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By Frank Maria



In ‘Real Beetle in Epoxy’, artist Frank Maria reinterprets the Beetle as an archaeological sculpture encrusted with mineral sediments and adorned with original tattoo designs and microlandscapes. The beetle’s exoskeleton is constructed from wood and paper, with an acrylic paint coating, held within a 120x120 cm casing in wood and plexiglass.

“The idea for the chair is very simple: Beetles are placed in epoxy resin cubes to preserve them forever, so you can store them and investigate them. I wanted to create the same effect with my artwork, so you look at it through glass as though it is preserved. I had this thought of a wobbly, bubbly body and wanted it to look like the original Beetle Chair. I used the original chair for scale and recreated the seating shape in a bulky way. I arranged it spontaneously, with ballshaped legs, and worked with the composition to arrange the Beetle on top. Then I had to rearrange the shape a few times to make the composition perfect.


I use my drawings for making tattoos or shirts, but also painting on walls. I see the chair as a kind of body where I have placed my drawings. It has the same effect as my artistic work, where I play with the placement – some are highlighted, some are more hidden.”


– Frank Maria




Frank Maria was born in 1990 in Salzburg. After pursuing his dream of becoming a sculptor at age 16, Maria studied drawing and print at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Bridging urban and fine arts through wall painting and murals, Maria has also published several books and zines. Maria gradually moved on to clothing, but after Covid-19 limited his travels and art commissions around the world, Maria transitioned to become a tattoo artist, spending his time between Vienna, Berlin, and Lake Como.

“Frank Maria’s sculpture resembles the scale model of an archaeological artifact in a display case, as though the artist intends to highlight the line between reality and fiction, adding an element of mystery to the imaginary story behind an object that is both disturbing and erotic. The colors, shapes, and surfaces used as skin for tattoos arouse both curiosity and repulsion, introducing unknown worlds to the Beetle Chair.”


- Marco Sammicheli, curator, TEN: Beyond the Beetle



GUBI SALONE 2023’s landmark exhibition showcases 10 creative responses to a modern design icon.