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Fish taxidermy/painting is NOT art

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Kevin Neidigh, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Interesting comments here and we all agree to listen and apply our own feelings to the comments.
    My son Michael had a great art teacher in high school who helped him whenever he completed an "art" project he submitted. There was never a "that's not art" comment, rather it was "great but here's how to make it better". Every pencil scratch is leading to an "artistic finish" if you allow it to get there. This priceless art teacher must be proud when he sees how his patient lessons resulted in my son's lifelong dream of being an artist. Check out the results of a great art teacher's efforts at Killerpaint.com. Good luck to your daughter.Sounds like she has another great art teacher.
    msestak likes this.
  2. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    Shit! And I thought I nailed it!
    Steven Klee and msestak like this.

  3. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    i saw his work before. best realistic looking flames in the world.

    rest of its not bad either ;)
  4. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

  5. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I will chime in and agree with Marty. I too taught secondary for 30 years. Painting fish for 35+. What are we creating???? Not the fish......not the casting. It is a technical skill that can be mastered by anyone......some more than others. I will say from what little I have seen at high level competitions, yes, through composition and other manipulation, it can be raised to an artistic level.......but painting a fish or casting is not truly art.Is refinishing a piece of furniture art? I supposed if one wanted to paint a fish like one would a motorcycle helmet that might be art. It is a hazy line for sure. I would suggest to the art contest participant to do a half cast of a real fish, modify it, cast in in whatevery media that one wishes, and put it on a nice plaque or pedestal or creative design. Take a look at what Dave Hrycun does at 3D Envision Taxidermy and you can get some great ideas. Even novelty pieces can be original. Give me a day or two being snowed in here and I will post a pic of something like I am suggesting. Look at what Rick Hardy does with novelty replicas. Clearly some creativity there. Lots you can do with sculpey and epoxy sculpt as far as original modeling. I will also agree about the Picasso thing, and do not even get me started on so-called modern country music and hip hop, rap crap. Not music. Not art. Not culture.
    FishArt and George like this.
  6. Art-fromthe-Heart

    Art-fromthe-Heart Hobbyist bone and skeleton enthusiast

    As a professional artist in the painting & sculpting field (full time since 2007), my 2 cents is that EVERYTHING is art in one way or another. There are thousands of categories of art (and I'm not even touching the art vs craft debate, so let's just say art is art.) It's just people's perspective that changes. The teacher may be put off by the taxidermy aspect. Not everyone likes that kind of thing, so they downplay it. I certainly would call it art. That art teacher needs a refresher on encouraging student creativity and art!
    3bears, Kerby Ross and Mudbat like this.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I may as well piss off the fishheads AGAIN, but I have to agree with the teacher here. Just for a second, step back and tell me what you'd think if the student brought in a coloring book page that had used all 180 crayons in the box. Would you consider that art? Why not??? Oh, not the same? Sure it is. Painting a replica fish is no different from coloring in the lines of a coloring book. If you want to see real ART in fish painting, just use your search engine and look up the names of A.D. Maddox, Derek DeYoung, Randy McGovern, Travis Sylvester, and Vincent Scarpace. Would you compare a painted replica, regardless of how well it was done, to the fine art these people do? If you do, you've got an argument but I don't see it.
    FishArt likes this.
  8. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    is this art ?
    is this art.jpg
    FishArt, JL and 1fish2fish like this.
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    George, I don't call label myself a "Fishhead" but I will answer your question because I'm not sure you see my point, as of yet. The answer to your question is, yes the coloring book page should also be included, in this particular situation. It is a school age art exhibit, from what I understand, not a "Fine art" exhibit. We cannot expect kids to compete or compare with talented people in the "Fine art" world, but we sure can't stifle their efforts to become "Artists" themselves. You know a funny thing is many scoff at a piece that is created by an "Artist" that doesn't resemble anything in the natural world, regardless of the medium and say it isn't "Art" but when someone recreates something that resembles nature, we readily call that "Art". Why the double standard? Especially with regards to this situation of labeling a young lady's rendition of a fish not "Art".
    You all enjoy this discussion, I'm off for a week of chasing turkeys, in the fricken snow mind you, Ill check back when I can.
    Steven Klee likes this.
  10. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    IMG_6793.JPG IMG_6792.JPG

    Come on George....which looks more like a coloring book? These works of AD Maddox and Derek DeYoung or the 3D fish art by Artists like Josh Knuth, Pete Harum, etc.

    Let's not pretend fish artists cannot create art that isn't focused on realistically rendering fish in 3D.

    I would anticipate these artists could do quality work in 3D fish rendering too.

    Hell, AD Maddox gives us all a nod with those taxidermied pants.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  11. Timjo

    Timjo Active Member

    Long ago, at the age of 17 I took a small skin mounted Amberjack to a high school art show. I had a hard time convincing my art teacher that I was the one who did it. She loved it and that was encouragement to me. We live in different times it seems and this other teacher that said, "hobby not art" perhaps has a bias agenda. I'll bet a lot of successful artists work started out as a hobby.
    I for one believe that even if you do it for the sole purpose of make a living, painting a fish on skin, plastic or canvas is art, good bad or ugly. Sharpening a knife "your way" to a razor edge is an art......art is all around you, take it or leave it.

    Green Bullhead once said "Think like a fish no matter how weird it gets"
    Steven Klee, John C, Mudbat and 2 others like this.
  12. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    Exactly what I was thinking . Some of the best fish guys can blow every single one of those artists away in realism, and detail. I absolutely 100% think fish work is art. Be it replica or skin.
  13. Swissfish

    Swissfish Well-Known Member

    I have some clients with world famous names in the field of fine- and contemporary art. I work for them on commission. So what now? From which moment on are my fish mounts considered as art? Anyway, because these guys consider it as such and use it partially for there own art projects....or, only from that moment on when such an artist takes it in his hands and make something with it? For me the answer is clear, my studio is called "The Art of Fish Taxidermy".
    Sotired, John C and Kerby Ross like this.
  14. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    the photo of the fish i posted above and asked if it was art....are wood carvings, not mounted fish or even fiberglass replicas, but carved out of wood.
    FishArt likes this.
  15. I will say this, Painting a fish is art. I have seen a lot of mounted fish over my years and can say most of them are not art.

    I see others that certainly are art.
  16. AD Maddox, Derek DeYoung work looks like a paint by numbers to me.

    Vincent Scarpace must be doing acid because that is not art.

    I suggest looking at Dave Whitlock's work to see fish art. I have known with Dave for several years.
    Mudbat likes this.
  17. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    George and msestak like this.
  18. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    Dang Rich, that's one of your nicer ones!
    How about Joe Tomelleri. He's a local friend and one of the best fish illustrators there is,
    but there are many in the art world that don't consider what he does as art either. Lifelike renditions of the actual animal don't get you far in the world of art critics.
    Sorry I have helped to detour this discussion way past the original post as have a few others.
    AnglingArtisan likes this.
  19. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    some of that stuff they call art is not art, it looks like a mess of paint slapped together.
    impressionism ?

    thats like saying you identify as one thing when you are actually another.
  20. Some call this art. I say it is his impression of LSD trip.

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