Stag beetle sells art piece for more than $2,000

Stag beetle sells art piece for more than $2,000
PHOTO: SpikeTheBeetle/Twitter

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be out-earned by an insect?

Wonder no further, because there is a stag beetle in Japan which just sold a piece of art for US$1,575 (S$2,156), which is more than what most of us will ever make for a piece of art, and may be more than what some of us take home a month.

In case you haven't heard of him yet, Spike is a stag beetle living in Japan who has gained Twitter fame via his art. He has garnered over 50 thousand Twitter followers and 20 thousand followers on Instagram, prompting his owner to help set up his very own website.

Spike's owner, Mandy, is an English teacher who owns three other beetles aside from Spike, neither of which however are as artistically predisposed as Spike is.

According to Buzzfeed, Mandy was fooling around, taking silly pictures of her pet beetle holding on to various objects such as utensils, before giving him a marker. That was when Spike began moving the marker around a piece of paper, drawing patterns.

Intrigued, Mandy took some photos of the art and uploaded them onto Twitter, where the photos blew up overnight.

on Twitter

The original tweet on Mandy's account gained immense popularity, gaining over 60 thousand retweets, The beetle's owner decided to make her own account private, creating a special account just for Spike, and the rest is history.

on Twitter

About two weeks ago on Thursday (July 6), Mandy put up Spike's art on e-bay for the first time. The auction garnered over 80 bids, and has since closed on Sunday (July 16), with the highest bid capped at US$1,575. 

Photo: E-Bay screengrab

According to Spike's Twitter page, Mandy will be donating 15 per cent of the auction proceeds to People's Trust for Endangered Species, while the remaining amount will go towards purchasing food and supplies for Spike and his beetle friends, as well as helping to set up Spike's online shop.

on Twitter

Aside from making art, the stag beetle's Twitter page also documents other hobbies and activities Spike enjoys taking part in, such as eating and spending time with his beetle friends.

on Twitter

on Twitter

on Twitter

on Twitter

on Twitter

But in the end, all Mandy wants is to share her love for insects with others. 

"I adore Spike, but taking cute pictures was always just for friends," Mandy said in an interview with Buzzfeed. "Having this many people love him too is incredibly touching."

"I often get messages of people who are afraid of bugs, but Spike has helped them start to overcome that fear,(and) that means so much to me. Bugs really are cute."

on Twitter

nicchew@sph.com.sg

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