Self-Taught Artist Turns Dead Cockroaches Into Painted Works of Art

Brenda Delgado, a self-taught artist from Manila, in the Philippines, paints dead cockroaches into miniature artworks inspired by classics like Starry Night or Girl With a Pearl Earring.

When it comes to unusual art mediums, it’s tough to find something more bizarre than Brenda Delgado’s choice for a canvas. The 30-year-old resident of Caloocan City in Manila came up with the idea to paint on dead cockroaches while sweeping some dead bugs from her working space. She noticed how shiny and smooth cockroach wings were, paused, and somehow thought about painting on them. She started using oil paints to recreate tiny versions of classic masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, and her works soon started attracting attention online.

Photo: Brenda Delgado/Facebook

“To my fellow artists, do not be afraid to explore your talents and challenge yourself to do the things you think are impossible,” Delgado captioned one of her Instagram posts.


Brenda Delgado’s unconventional paintings have been getting mixed reactions on social media, with some social media users praising her originality, and others accusing her of animal cruelty, even if the insect she uses are found dead, not killed to serve as canvases.


‘”t just seems cruel. Do not think that during my dying breaths in a hospital bed I would appreciate someone coming in to paint half of my body,” one person wrote. “If the cockroach is already dead, so be it – but it just seems hard and cruel. Talks a lot about the artist’s (lack of) empathy … ”


With just over 300 followers on Instagram at the time of this writing, Brenda Delgado is only starting her journey to online artistic stardom, and, because of her chosen medium, I think the road ahead will be a relatively difficult one. Most people are put off by cockroaches, and painting them isn’t going to help things too much.