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We of the Anchovy have no art, in your sense of the term; we simply do everything as well as we can. But it may surprise you to learn that we of the Anchovy play a not inconsiderable role in the world of Unanchovy visual art, as well as in literature, music and dance, and film. Yet, given our omnipresence, and the response of artists in all media to their environment, why should this not be so? — The Schoolmarm

Coloured lithographic plate, circa 1845, showing night fishing for anchovies using flaming torches. Fishermen are heaving fishing nets on board boats at sea. Taken from 'The Fish' in 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals - Showing Their Utility to Man in Their Employment During Life and Uses After Death', a book illustrated by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. Printed by J Graf. Published by Thomas Varty.

Most famously of all in your art world, Bonk Business, Inc., a Finnish art collective headed by artist and musician Alvar Gullichson (scion of one of Finland's wealthiest industrial families) and Richard Stanley (an expatriate British screenwriter), in the 1990s constructed the plausible but spurious history of a fictitious corporation whose "roots," according to Stanley, "can be traced back to the family of a humble Finnish fisherman who manufactured oil, snuff and igarum" — a condiment — "all distilled from the fins and fleshy parts of the extinct Baltic anchovy." Among Bonk's offerings in its product line: "Baltic Anchovy Paste — Industrial strength" and "Bermuda Triangles" (High-Density Anchovy Briquets). Its distinctive (and non-functional) inventions, as presented at its Helsinki "World Expo" in 199? and subsequently on a world tour, include the Anchovy Feeding Barrow and a five-ton "Garum Distillator" that resembles a section of a steam locomotive. The Bonk Museum contains a wealth of information on this project. Here's an interview with Chairman of the Board of Bonk Business Inc. Barry Bonk,"Bonk Business Takes an Interest in Sponsoring Art."

The "Hull Fish Trail," a commisioned set of public sculptures in Kingston-upon-Hull, England, leads off with a school of anchovies. The title of this work, which dates from 1991-92, is "Anchovy," one of 36 pieces in "The Seven Seas Fish Pavement." The piece is lifesize, made of chromed bronze inset into the pavement.

These fish mark the beginning of the trail. The school of anchovies are located just outside the City Council Box Office. "The Seven Seas Fish Pavement" was commissioned for the Hull 1992 Festival by Kingston-upon-Hull City Council. The sponsors were Seven Seas Ltd. and the project was managed by Humberside Arts. The lead artist was Gordon Young, with assistance from Martin Bellwood, Russell Coleman, Ian ooper, and Brian Fell.

British textile artist and beadwork jewellery designer Debbie Siniska created a tapestry titled "Anchovy Heaven" in 1993. A private commission, it measures 6'x4'.

One "Captain Honk, née Thomas Bintz, has created a sculptural rendition of the Anchovy, measuring 22" x 8".

The American graphic artist David Lance Goines collaborated with restaurateur Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) to create the poster "Anchovy-Stuffed Eggs," from the series "Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing," published in Berkeley by the Saint Heironymus Press, 1968.

For instructions on "Fish Printing: the art of Gyotaku," click here. It pleases us to report that the Anchovy are among the fish selected for this process. (We accept the fact that creativity often involves sacrifice, including the sacrifice of others. — The Schoolmarm)

The 1999 Painting Competition Award Winners of the Turkish Naval Museum , included Mustafa Sekban, whose "I wish I were an anchovy bird" measures 140x116 cm. An area of 465 square meters in the Naval History Archives Building was renovated and opened as an art gallery in 1993 by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Vural Bayazit. With the aim of serving contemporary artists, competitions with the theme "Sea" are held annually in spring and awarded entries are retained for the collection of the museum. (Unfortunately, they offer no illustration of this work.)

The U.S. artist Brenda Guild Gillespie sells prints of an image of the Anchovy in an open edition.

Glass artist George Pavliscak sells anchovy pendants that appear to contain actual filets of the Anchovy.

The noted U.S. artist Edward Ruscha (1937-) produced "Anchovy" in 1969 -- a limited edition of 20 lithographs. Image size 19" x 28" inches; signed, dated and numbered. (We have it on good authority that this artist's then-wife hated anchovies. — The Schoolmarm)

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Illustrations © copyright 1997 by Annika Eklöf. All rights reserved.