A re-imaging of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex in 1820 which inspired the classic novel Moby Dick. A major motion picture on this subject, In the Heart of The Sea, was released in 2015.
This is the first of a recent series of my paintings referring to history. A number of influences steered me in this direction, including a whale watching tour in Nova Scotia and seeing an exhibition of J.M.W. Turner’s whaling paintings at the Met. A childhood memory of the opening of the classic John Huston film Moby Dick gave me the idea to paint the whale in its improbably airborne position. In the first scene in the movie Ishmael enters a tavern and sees a painting of a whale crashing down on the rigging and deck of a ship. “Can a whale do that?” he asks.