Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a baby swordfish is extremely tiny, but for an animal that grows up to 10 feet long and weighs nearly 1,500 pounds, it’s still astonishing to learn their offspring are so miniscule. PhD candidate Juan C. Levesque shot this amazing close-up of a baby swordfish perched atop a human fingertip for scale. Incredibly, this tiny fish will grow up to 29 inches in just its first year of life. You can read more about the rapid growth of swordfish at Florida Sportsman. (via Twisted Sifter)
Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori (previously) returns to Joshua Liner Gallery this week for his second solo show, Goldfish Salvation. Fukahori has become widely known for his depiction of aquatic life painted with acrylic within layers of resin, most frequently the forms of goldfish as they swim through small wooden boxes or inside bamboo hats. He references dozens of live fish kept in aquariums in his studio as he works, with some pieces taking several months to gradually complete, layer by layer.
The exhibition’s title, Goldfish Salvation, is a personal reference to a time of self-doubt in Fukahori’s own artistic career, and an important revelation that led him out of it. Goldfish have since become a symbol of identity that represent both the strength and weakness of himself and rest of humanity. He shares:
In the aquarium, similar to human society, there is a story of birth and death. As long as they live, these goldfish will continue to soil the fish tank, and if not changed, the water will only get tainted leading to death for all the goldfish. This is quite true for the human species as well… The goldfish that I paint are not really goldfish, but representations of people. I feel as though the fish tank is only foretelling what would happen to the earth in the future. We as human beings are the main source polluting our own air we breathe.
You can see all of the pieces here, plus a number of large acrylic paintings by Fukahori at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York through December 19th. (via Hi-Fructose)
While most people are satisfied with giving their pet goldfish some colorful gravel, a plastic plant, and maybe one of those bubbly treasure chests, the entrants to the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) have turned aquarium design into an artform. The massive tanks require years of preparation and are focused almost entirely on the aesthetic presentation of plants using only natural elements.
The art of aquascaping is still a fledgling endeavor, first started in the 90s by Japanese wildlife photographer Takashi Amano. The annual IAPLC competition has grown dramatically since, with the 2015 contest seeing 2,545 entries from 69 countries. Japan, China, Brazil, and France dominate the top finalist spots (only 13 entries were from the United States). Finalists were announced in September.
The scoring of each aquarium is based on a complex matrix of six criteria: the recreation of natural habitat for fish; the creator’s technical skills; the long-term maintenance of the habitat; the originality and impression of the layout; presentation of natural layout; and the overall composition and planting ‘balance’. Participants face severe penalties for reconfiguring elements from their own past entries, stealing ideas from others, and using plants that may not last long-term in the environment presented.
Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously) continues to capture some of the most elegant portraits of fish we’ve seen. His intimate, crystal-clear photos of Siamese fighting fish (betta) make it seem as though they are suspended in air instead of water. Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns. Limited edition prints of his work are now available through La Lanta Fine Art.
No, these aren’t light vomiting fish, though you would be forgiven for thinking so because that’s exactly what it looks like. What you’re seeing is the defense mechanism of a tiny crustacean called an ostracod, a shrimp-like organism about 1mm in size that some fish accidentally eat while hunting for plankton. When eaten by a translucent cardinalfish, the ostracod immediately releases a bioluminescent chemical in an attempt to illuminate the fish from the inside, making it immediately identifiable to predators. WHAT. Not wanting to be eaten, the cardinalfish immediately spits out the ostracod, resulting in little underwater fish fireworks. What an incredible game of evolutionary cat and mouse. The clip above is from a new show on BBC Two called Super Senses. If you’re in the UK you can watch it online in HD for a few more days. (via For Science Sake)
With the exception of the repurposed containers, almost every aspect of these artworks by Singapore-based artist Keng Lye (previously) has been rendered in acrylic paint, carefully applied within layers of clear resin. A fish in a plastic bag, a tin can of tadpoles swirling under a frog on a lilypad, and even a completely convincing betta constructed from carved resin and painted with acrylic—each work a strange, lifelike amalgam of painting and sculpture. These are just a few of Lye’s work over the last year, you can see more over on Facebook.