The Story Behind... Give and Take
Give and Take is my version of a family portrait. It shows a lot of different personalities that you can see in the same family. The black marlin in the center in the piece is in charge of the family. Some people have mentioned that this piece has kind of a “Last Supper” feel to it – that wasn’t my intention at the time, but I can kind of see it now, especially with the marlin having his fins out like he does. It’s funny how artwork can be influenced subliminally. Next to the marlin is the octopus – doing the marlin’s bidding - giving and taking drinks from the other family members. Always doing 8 things at once.
He’s giving a beer to the mako shark. The mako shark I think he helps calls the shots in the family. On his back is a baby shark, and under his chin is a baby fish on a seaweed leash being held by the angel fish. The babies are some of the smaller kids in the family. More of the kids are over by the sea turtle. The sea turtle represents that nurturing family member – with a very loving look in their eyes looking after all the babies.
Right above the turtle, you have the mahi – the most beautiful fish (and he/she knows it) so the mahi is the “flashiest” and best-looking family member- taking a selfie because they just can’t get enough of themselves. The mahi even has a dirty martini with olives stuffed with blue cheese. I always feel like the octopus is taking the beer away – trying to slow the mahi down.
Above the mahi is the polo-playing seahorse – the athletic one in the family. The family member who doesn’t take crap from anybody. She’s knocking the blowfish around because that blowfish is trying to mess with the family and the seahorse is the protector – she’s going to knock anyone back. She’s drinking a little red wine there at the same time.
At the bottom, under the mako shark you’ll see the "stoned" crab. I think that stonecrab is pretty self-explanatory. You’ll see the clown fish around the crab enjoying some seaweed. The three clown fish are representing a different stage of… “enjoying the seaweed”; The puffy eyes for that initial hit, the laughing phase and then the chilled-out phase. The octopus is giving her some fresh water to help her out a little. Maybe she doesn’t like to drink because she’s just happy with her seaweed.
On the right of the piece, the baby shark on the mako’s back is reaching up towards the flying fish and he has a halo. This flying fish is a recurring character in my paintings and represents a really good friend of mine who passed away. He represents important people we might have lost in our lives who continue to be with us in spirit. The angelfish above represents the family member who is seemingly angelic, but no-one is really 100% perfect, so she has a little pair of horns holding up her halo. That is just showing the duality in all of us.
In the top right, there are three fishermen. As fishermen sometimes you give a lot of bait and get a lot of fish but sometimes you just get a tire and that’s all you have to show for it. The mahi, the sailfish and the dolphin are working together in this little scene. The dolphin has found a tire, noticed these guys are fishing so he brought the tire over to the mahi; the mahi knew exactly where the hook was because he’s usually the first one to take it, so they worked together, took the bait off and replaced it with a tire. The fishermen are excited because they think they’ve found a massive fish and all they’re getting is a big tire. We’ve all been there. I have a lot of fun imagining what’s happening right before and right after this scene.
Give and Take products including canvas art and paper prints are available here
February 05, 2022
It was fabulous meeting you in Pompano and learning how your stories come alive in your artwork