Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crimson Irony

For my last blog post, I wanted something that was really controversial and had a strong opinion backing it up.  I recently found this piece, called "Crimson Irony", on deviantART by a user named yuumei.  Yuumei’s style is usually along the more anime-ish genre, but this piece obviously has a more serious tone behind it.

I’m not the biggest fan of sharks.  This is probably due to the fact that my parents let me watch the movie Jaws when I was about 4 or 5 years old.  Now every time I see a scene in a movie, TV show or commercial that involves an underwater scene I pretty much freak out and expect to see a great white lunging out of the darkness towards the screen. 

Despite all of my fear for sharks, I am also extremely fascinated by and interested in them.  I watch a lot of Shark Week programs and I was vaguely aware of the problem of finning, but I didn’t know much about it besides the fact that it was a very cruel act towards sharks.

Yuumei shows this problem in a very stark manner: the shark in her picture has been finned and is slowly spinning towards the bottom of the frame, blood staining the water around it.  At first that’s all I saw, and when I read what she had in her description of the piece, I was appalled.  I kept coming back to the piece because it had such a strong impact on me, and the second or third time I viewed it I noticed the faint hands that were reaching up from the bottom of the frame towards the shark.  The hands make the piece even more chilling than it already is.

While we may see commercials for the ASPCA (often with Sarah McLachlan singing in the background) and see poor, abused (but cute) animals, we never see commercials advocating awareness of the danger sharks are in.  Sharks are not cute and cuddly like puppies and kittens, but they are just as worthy of our help as other animals are, and Yuumei’s piece unmistakably gets that point across.


  1. My Oceanography class showed us a video about this horrible practice. It's so gross: the fishermen were told it was illegal to bring a shark in their nets, so they got around that by just cutting off the fins, so the authorities wouldn't be able to tell if it was the type of shark they banned from hunting. Shark fins sell for tons of money, and it’s really disturbing the lengths people will go to get paid. This is a very emotional piece; it’s good to raise awareness of this kind of thing.

  2. I have never seen or heard of this process and it's quite disturbing. It's true that many animals, such as sharks, are never thought about being abused or killed off, I mean, I have never thought about that before. I guess that it's, like you stated, that fear that movies instill into some minds. Do the hands on the bottom represent those people willing to help sharks?

  3. Really vivid color and high contrast between the red and the blue.

  4. The way I interpret the hands is that they're the people who buy the shark fins; to me they seem greedy and a bit disturbing rather than helpful. It's all up to your interpretation though!