Great West Coast Migration at the ARTery, Costa Mesa
Pangea Seed’s Great West Coast Migration Art Tour
Aug. 10, 2012: How could you not, after viewing Kool Kid Kreyola’s “Me and My Shark Fin” short cinematic saga of a shark’s delights and eventual demise, want to help save the world’s great ocean predators? A touring show that started in Seattle, and will swell about fifty percent next weekend when it closes in downtown San Diego (at Space 4 Art Aug. 18-19), is in Orange County this weekend. We hit it up to get a peek of what SD has in store.
Get ready to be informed about how you really feel about sharks. You’re either scared or you aren’t. There many be no other animal with an existence so based on myth, emotion and energy that makes for an art show as diverse as cakes, kooks and klansmen. It was interesting to talk with artist Rich Morrison, whose solemn water-surface-level image features a shark fin centered in the frame: uncomfortable for 90 percent of the population, but part of the fabric of the ocean for a surfer. Then Rich walked me over to a underwater James Morgan photo of a little boy grinning ear to ear holding onto the tail of his pet shark. Same size image, opposite emotion. More works depicted friendly cartoon sharks. Others humanized the issue at hand. Human foot soup, anyone? Or as fine art photography team Ransom and Mitchell imagine it, a nude blonde with an unhealing, unsealed fin-backbone wound.
If you’re in Orange County this weekend, Pangea Seed’s Great West Coast Migration is at the ARTery at the LAB in Costa Mesa Fri. Aug. 10, Sat. Aug. 11 and Sun. Aug. 12, 2012 ($5 suggested donation).
Pangea Seed background story: the global plight of sharks inspired Tre Packard, originally of Carlsbad, Calif. and now of Japan, to assemble a traveling art show to raise funds and awareness (if you want to know more, read about it here). He doesn’t like asking for money, he tells me. He prefers people to have a connection to the issue through art. Yes! –Dana Nichols
SethAugust 14, 2012
Hardly a Klansman…
When PangeaSeed first asked me to participate in this great cause, I figured that I would paint a shark in an ocean scene in my normal, abstract style. However, while surfing one day, I kept thinking about how cruel and unjust it is that there are still so many countries that allow their citizens to kill sharks solely for their fins. Up to 70 million sharks are brutally slaughtered every year, just so people can enjoy ridiculously priced shark fin soup.
For some reason, this made me think of African Americans in the 19th Century who were unjustly killed at public lynchings and how truly ignorant and sad that was. So, I did some research and found an old black and white photograph of two men who were wrongfully killed by lynching in Marion, Indiana in 1930. This image was not easy to look at, and it still haunts me to this day.
I wanted the finished piece to be controversial and thought provoking when first viewed, so I found another disturbing black and white image of the hate group the “Klu Klux Klan” to incorporate into the piece. Disgusted, I then proceeded to create this cetacean murder scene photomontage.
This piece portrays each of the “problem” countries’ flags waving in the blood-scented wind and hooded humans as a part of a united global shark killing “lynch mob”. (Not too far off from the truth.)
Shown here, the leader of this lynch mob has just finned hundreds of beautiful hammerhead sharks to make bloody bowls of shark fin soup. While standing on the pile of shark fins, which is surrounded by global currency painted in shark blood, the hooded mob grin and laugh while blood drips down their faces. Many of them chant, “Kill Kill Kill”.
When I look at this image I think to myself, “Is it really this bad?” No, it’s even worse. We as humans need to help defend the defenseless.
Surfers for Cetaceans