We haven’t done a Field & Stream fish art lesson in a while. I think we’re due. The work below is part of the collection of 28-year-old Japanese fisherman turned artist Iori Tomita, and how he creates these glowing skeletons is pretty wild. It takes three to six months to complete even a tiny fish, which he first soaks in a witch’s brew of chemicals that break down muscle proteins, making the fish transparent. Then he applies red and blue dyes, which cling to the hard and soft cartilages and bones. He calls them “New World Transparent Specimens.” His tool of choice for holding the fish while he works? Chop sticks.
If you swing by Tomita’s website, you’ll see that he has hundreds of these skeletons, one more beautiful than the next. There are squids and seahorses and rays, too. He says all he’s really done is use a process developed to help scientists study skeletal structures to create art. I can’t even imagine what one of these pieces would cost.
However, every time I track down some cool fish art, I’m compelled to pretend I could actually afford a commissioned piece. If I could lay down some cash on a Tomita, I think a mahi mahi would look amazing hanging over the bed. I’ll let you know if my wife agrees. Have a great weekend.