real art for a fictitious world.
by the jealous curator comment



how can i resist? i can’t! oceanographer, and documentarian, steve zissou  (from wes anderson‘s “the life aquatic”) is one of my dream clients. i’m not sure that he actually owns any art, but i’m going to change that. first things first, let’s address a fairly big issue for steve – revenge:


ok, this piece does not feature a ‘jaguar’ shark (the rare species that supposedly ate his friend, esteban), but it’s definitely a man-eater! yep, it’s a gorgeous, hand embroidered man-eater by american artist stephanie k. clark. it might bring back bad memories for steve, but maybe it will be cathartic? or not. anyway, while we’re on the subject of ocean life, during his career steve zissou has come face to face with some really, really, really weird sea creatures:


these antique prints of exotic fishes are almost as crazy as the fish that mr.zissou studies – the ‘crayon pony horse’ comes to mind, for example. i love all of these beautifully bizarre prints (available here, here, here, and here) and would happily hang all of them in the research library on ‘the belefonte’, zissou’s boat… oh, well hello there, perfect segue:


more vintage work? not exactly. these golden framed beauties are contemporary paintings, of some very vintage sailing ships, by american artist mary maguire. yes, these came years and years before ‘the belefonte’, but i’m sure that steve would appreciate this work, given his love of life on the sea (and they’re just a little bit odd, which doesn’t hurt at all!)

so, bringing art onto a boat is one thing, but what to do when dealing with a very, very, very small space?


yes. very, very, very small art. miniature iceberg paintings by canadian artist rebecca chaperon would be perfect in that very yellow submarine. not only are they tiny (3″x4″ish), but what kind of sub captain doesn’t have to keep an eye out for icebergs – in the tropics? yep, just weird enough to work in this situation! ok, ready for a deep dive?


gah! these are incredible – and kinda spooky. american artist jason decaires taylor creates concrete sculptures, and then places them on the bottom of the ocean. not only are they amazingly eery and beautiful pieces of art, they also become home-sweet-home to local sea life. maybe i could convince jason to place one of his stunning installations just off the coast of steve’s island. definitely worth a pretend phone call, yes?

and because they were best friends, i think we should take a moment to remember the man who would have loved all of this work:


“esteban was eaten!” ~ steve zissou

and with that, i’m off to watch more movies! see you in two weeks with more real art for other fictional characters ~ danielle (aka the jealous curator)

15 responses to “real art for a fictitious world.”

  1. I *just* discovered Stephanie K. Clark’s amazing work last week and an art-crush was born immediately.
    I really loved this post and would buy almost everything in it.

  2. I love those mini ice burgs! My house is, admittedly, a bit bigger than a submarine but I’m a minimalist at heart so I’m always on the lookout for small, subtle pieces like those.

  3. A couple years ago I purchased several of the antique sea life chromolighographs from Etsy seller Cabinet of Treasures: ( They were great to work with as far as prices and shipping were concerned. Castafiore Old Prints (the sea cucumber chromolitho) will also do the same but unfortunately, they didn’t have the prints I was looking for when I was hot to buy them!

    Now if I could just get the room finished so I can hang the dang prints.

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