Devilfish – 1981
EXHIBITION:Barry Herem: Wood. Glass. Paper. Steel.
The octopus or devilfish is common to the waters of the North Pacific coast where it grows to its largest size and has become part of the myths and legends of the native cultures. The devilfish often occurs in the traditional art of the Northwest Coast as a vigorous agent of destruction. In myth it is believed to have swept whole villages to destruction, a Tlingit story particularly associated with Devilish Bay in southeastern Alaska. Additional stories and especially both carved and painted depictions most commonly describe the devilish in mortal confrontations with the canoes and crews of seagoing people.
In “Devilfish” this narrative and pictorial tradition is drawn upon to newly express an old subject of fascination: monster versus man.