I thought I would share something that I am working on right now in the studio. This picture was taken after two sittings. I was inspired by one of my favorite paintings, Antonio Lopez’s “Conejo-desollado”, in which he painted a skinned rabbit. So I went to the Reading Terminal here in Philadelphia searching for the perfect subject. They have several butchers and seafood vendors. The Red Snapper caught my eye for its beautiful reds, pinks and greens.
After looking at it for a while, I was reminded of a little bistro in Savannah that I worked at for three years during my undergrad at SCAD. I have such fond memories of the place and people who I worked with like the Chef Danny Kim. Danny is Thai and LOVES to feed people and go fishing. Everyday I would come into the kitchen and he would be butchering fresh fish that he bought or caught himself that morning. He would cut me of a slice of fresh sushi if it was a really good Tuna or something like that. He was a quiet kind man and if you were feeling sick, he would not hesitate to make you soup, which meant the world to me. One of the dishes he loved to prepare was a whole bee-liner red snapper, diamond scored, served head to tail on the plate, with a sweet Thai chili sauce. When I saw this fish at the Terminal all of these memories came trickling into my mind, the smells of the food cooking, the sounds of the pans and knives chopping, even the image of Rut, the dish-washer, taking an afternoon nap by the dish-pit. All of these memories made my decision to paint a fish much more compelling. When the painting is done I will post an image of it, as well as talk about the experience of painting a lifeless animal.