Are humans subject to the vagaries of nature or is the environment at risk from humans? Whichever way we look at it, there is an undeniable connection between the two. Shark Fin stands as a literal and metaphorical reflection of this reality.
Sculptor Oleg Lobykin sees this conceptual artwork as a symbol of awareness about the human impact on nature and our interconnectedness with our environment. Although the form of a shark’s dorsal fin is a familiar one, the scale of the sculpture and its shiny stainless steel surface invite us to reflect on our perception of our place in nature and the many ways we shape our own environment. Technology is perhaps our most important tool because it both enables and represents our most important achievements as a species.
Technological progress is often met with excitement for future possibilities and an equal amount of fear for unintended consequences. In terms of this duality, our relationship with technology mirrors our relationship with nature. The shark is a powerful and emotionally compelling symbol for us. Its ancient attributes of stealth and power fire our imaginations and demand respect even as they arouse both dread and courage. When a person calls another a “shark” we can determine only from context whether the intention is a compliment or an insult. This mix of fear and fascination is an example of a kind of harmony in contradictions that the artist’s work often explores.
Medium: Stainless Steel
This video shows a variation on the theme: the enlarged fin could be placed on water, and then moved from time to time from one location to another to create an element of surprise for viewers.