Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nature's Majesty!

BEHOLD!!! The majestic Bald Eagle! The stealthy Mountain Lion! And the wise and noble Wolf! Imperial Nature! This post brings us to a popular genre somewhat related to WIS - Redneck T-Shirt Art.

Also a fantasy art sub-genre, Redneck T-Shirt Art often encompasses the themes of Wolves, Eagles, and Native Americans, and is usually set within the context of woods, mountains, tundra or sky. I believe the style developed as a result of the oxymoronic combination of patriotic sentiments with a reverence for Native American culture and mysticism. Also, redneck guys just love them some wolves.

More examples of Redneck T-Shirt Art:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Photoshop Ahoy!

The first Photoshop attempt at a WIS piece that I have seen. It lacks the usual atmosphere of most other works, but the content is not to be denied.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Some Sort of Whale Nymph

A stylistic potpourri of Fantasy, Anime and WIS. This work makes use of airbrushing's capacity for rendering things so as to appear translucent.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Awesomness

I've discovered a new WIS artist, Rik Murphy. He does a lot of interesting collage work, as well as more traditional painting. He really sounds like a lovely person, judging by his artist statements and such on his website. I think his art in general is pretty damn cool, actually. In this piece, "A Space For Whales," he uses photographic images to create a collage. The image of the Pyramids at Giza is actually taken from a poster that Pink Floyd included with the Dark Side of the Moon LP back in the 70's. How freakin' awesome is that? Click on the post title to check out his website.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pablo Picasso...never got called an asshole

I found this work, entitled "DOLPHIN UNIVERSE," on a popular art-poster website. I was saddened to find that the site provides no artist credit for this work. Clearly, there is some serious art-snobbery going on here. The site does credit artists it deems to be "worthy,"---they list 'Pablo Picasso' for a poster of Guernica, (which has no whales, I might add.)and even a "c.1937." And yet Dolphin Universe goes without these marks of recognition. Well, the art world is a brutal, fiercely competitive place riddled with politics, favoritism and bullshit. For one man armed only with an airbrush and a vision, it can be an unrewarding path.

Anyway, Dolphin Universe seems to be another late-period WIS, as it is fully computer-rendered. We have quite an elaborate 'space-scape' in the upper half of the frame: our entire solar system, a few nebulae and some other galaxies floating around, as well as stars and a few comets. Though it's hard to make out in this small picture, the ocean waters in the lower half of the work are reminiscent of the "Fractal Art" that also became popular in the early 90's. (Remember fractal art? mmmm....nerdy.) Click on the post title to see some what I'm talking about.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Soothing Sunset

A nicely executed poster. The use of oranges and yellows gives an unusual "earthy" tone to the work.

One is lead to wonder what the exact relationship is between the dolphin in the water and the ones in the air---are the two mystically hovering a dream of the earthbound one? A fantasy? A memory?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dolphins are Aliens? ...Really?

The more we explore the realm of WIS art, the more we are compelled to ask:


WHY are space-dwelling Cetaceans something that so many people feel the need to honor with artistic testimony?

I suspect that the Dolphin Channeling, etc. I mentioned in my earlier post, "The other Whales In Space", may have something to do with it.

Through my "research" (surfing bizarro exopolitics sites while I'm at work), I found a number of references to a supposed Cetacean-Alien bond. (Cetaceans, for those of you who don't know, is the technical name for the order of marine mammals that includes all our space-swimmers: Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.) There are theories--posited by people with absolutely no shred of credibility whatsoever-- that the "Greys" (your standard-looking space aliens) are the evolutionary descendants of the Cetaceans. They note that both share a "similar grey skin tone" and skull shape. Also noted is the dolphin's use of sonar to stun their prey. Apparently, the aliens possess a similar power, which is used on abductees to paralyze and disorient them. Who knew?

Could all of this alien hullabaloo really be at the root of the art? What other reasons could there be for these images?

There are, of course, certain similarities between outer space and the deep ocean---there is the vastness, the otherworldly-ness, the unknown. It has been said that we know as little about the depths of our own oceans as we do about outer space. There's all that plankton or whatever it is floating around that can look kinda like stars, too. Maybe WIS simply aims to illustrate the unity of phenomena in the natural world.

My main question, though, is--- how do they get that hat to stay on the dolphin?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sleight of Dolphin

In case the complex composition of this work left you mystified, here's the breakdown:

In the sky, looming hugely over the dolphin as it leaps so majestically out of the sea, is Earth's moon. But wait! Be thou not so quickly lead to believe that it is a scene from Earth we are beholding! If you look to the upper-left of the work you will see....egad!...EARTH! Which means...this dolphin is on another planet!

Perhaps the artist is referencing the Exopolitical theory that dolphins are originally extra terrestrials?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Whole Lotta Humpbacks

Dated 1995, this work is clearly neither airbrushed nor computer-rendered. Nonetheless, it is someHARD-CORE WIS.

I had always kind-of assumed that the best WIS stuff was airbrushed, although I'm beginning to see that maybe this isn't true. I've come to realize that it's more about the final texture of the work than the medium with which it is achieved.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The other "Whales In Space"

If you google the phrase "Whales In Space" the first hit is an incomplete website devoted to something called "Dolphin Channeling" or "Exopolitics."

Apparently, there is a whole community of people out there who believe that whales and dolphins are literally FROM SPACE. As in, aliens.

Here's part of a testament from a believer's blog, click on my post title to see the whole thing:

"The dolphins told me they are an Extraterrestrial civilization that lives in the oceans and rivers of Earth part-time...The dolphins and whales serve as ambassadors between Earth and other Star Nations. They are the Wise Ones assisting humanity to accept the existence of other species who are intelligent and living in diverse realities nearby."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


An inherent difficulty with WIS is the fact that information on details such as medium and date of completion are most often impossible to come by. For example, this particular work appears to be computer-rendered, which would lead me to believe that it is a late-period WIS, although this cannot be confirmed. There is a clusterfuckyness about the disparate elements of the work that set it apart from the more simplistic "whales floating in space" themes of the genre's early period. Why is there a panda? The artist is apparently a big hippie who has also done work for the Grateful Dead and Hot Tuna.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whales In Space


You have found your way to my little blog: WHALES IN SPACE!!!!

Here you will find the online testament to my inexplicable personal fascination with this oft-overlooked, fucking AWESOME art sub-genre.

Made popular in the late 1980's through such reputedly "low-brow" vehicles as dorm-room posters and those pictures that come with the frame when you buy one, Whales In Space combines elements of nature's majesty with the vast landscapes of our imagination. *wind chimes*

You can help contribute by sending me any fine examples of W.I.S you may happen upon. Let us all delight in the airbrushed universe of amazingness.