A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to win one of the contracts to create public artwork for the all-new William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage. I worked with the crew at Trijet Manufacturing in Palmer Alaska to produce large cutout powder coated salmon and fishermen to adorn the building.
Jay Marvin and crew did all the installation work this last winter and now it’s finally completed. Check ‘em out next time you’re in the area.
Here’s my Artist Statement about the pieces:
I’m an artist that is inspired by the natural world and our place in it. Few places on our planet are better than Alaska for experiencing the raw elements of humankind meeting and experiencing nature firsthand in all its overwhelming beauty, sheer excitement and plain outright terror.
Catching a large fighting fish like an Alaskan King Salmon can be a life altering experience, especially for an artist. I know that I will never forget the first time I caught such a magnificent creature and ran through an entire gamut of emotions as I reeled it in: exuberant joy, pride, awe, moments of fear, moments of goofy comedy, moments of remorse and guilt as a I watched this ocean-going animal spirit die, moments of savory gluttony when I ate it. It’s all there in those riveting minutes when we are lucky enough to catch a big fish.
I also like to incorporate elements of humor in my work because it’s simply the goofy guy that I am. Humor can be a more direct and accessible way of communicating with an audience. You gain knowledge if you ‘get’ the joke.
In ‘River Duet’ 1 and 2 I’m hoping to capture a couple of those electric moments when a fisherman has a fish on the line. It’s an extraordinary instant when you are literally tied to another creature and you’re engaged in a fatal dance, moving to a soundtrack of two sentient beings engaged in the eternal struggle of survival. How will it end?