Inspired by a recent visit to Mercati di Rialto in Venice, Italy, a historical attraction for artists looking for scenic fresh pesci. 

Sketchbook notes:

"The market was fascinating at first sight. So many freshly caught fish were laid out on ice in different compositions and patterns. The salesmen behind the tables were eagerly searching for eye contact, trying to turn passers-by into customers. It was satisfying to have the option of choosing a whole fish wrapped in paper instead of picking from pre-cut fillets in plastic packaging. There was something very historical and humane about it.

After returning to Boston, I kept getting flashbacks to Mercati di Rialto; it was engraved in my mind. I began painting some of the scenes from memory and from the photographs I took. The more I sketched and painted the more anthropomorphic the fish appeared. The previous feelings I had of fulfillment became unsettling.

The scenes rapidly turned from joyful memories into reminders about the current state of marine life, reminders of polluted oceans and dangerous mercury levels in fish such as America's beloved tuna. They became reminders of the exponentially declining number of species in our oceans. Predators like swordfish and sharks that have been around since the dinosaurs may not survive the 21st century. They became reminders that we live in a different world than our parents and have a different future. We don’t have the luxury to keep old habits anymore.”