Local Mackerel Artwork Finds Home at GMGI’s New Research Institute

Two weeks after GMGI Board member JC Gutierrez-Ramos convinced Chris Munkholm to check out an unusual group of out-sized mackerel paintings at Fish City Studio on Main Street, five were on display at the new GMGI research institute. Hung just in time for the ribbon cutting, Jon Sarkin’s and Paul Goldberg’s brilliant artwork is now bringing color and energy to the new space.

Jon and Paul have known each other for over a decade but have only been collaborating creatively for a year. A self-described “odd couple,” Paul is a photographer and Jon a visual artist. Together they create pieces that combine the realism of photography with the imagination of illustrative artistry. The five pieces on display started with a singular photograph of a mackerel, which was then transformed by Jon’s vibrant use of oil pastels and crayons. The result is something that both acknowledge they could never create alone.

Sitting in the GMGI conference room at 417 Main Street, Paul explains, “The subject matter, the scale, the color, the wall space, the laboratory, it’s as if it was commissioned to represent the essence and exploration of fish.” Jon follows that thought by noting “it’s a celebration of life and fish.”

“We can’t imagine a better place to be displaying our art,” Jon adds as a fishing vessel pulls out of the inner harbor behind him and heads out to sea.