When it comes to souvenirs, I'm not really one to gravitate toward the chachkis. Typically, I'll explore the arts and crafts area for some inspiration or something to take home in the memory bank, but in most cases I leave empty handed. I'll admit I'm good at throwing things out that I don't need. In this instance, however, I just couldn't leave Jamaica without.

While most of the items up for grabs were pretty uniform throughout the markets; tie-dye shirts, wooden sculptures of dolphins, parrots, phalluses and giraffes *are there giraffes in Jamaica? I couldn't help but notice a certain something, sticking out from the crowd, calling my name... with its giant red mouth, frowning in the sunlight.

This is a piranha, the man at the market told me. The look of surprise that I was even interested was incredibly gratifying. He was very ill prepared for any form of purchase. If only I had taken his picture and asked more about this creation, to hear the story about it and where it came from. But alas, I was just too distracted by the joy of such an interesting find.

Anyone who knows me, is aware that I find the strange and sinister to be charming in its own way. Certainly this isn't a pretty or attractive decorative piece, but it is one with so many intentions, that it makes me smile with very little effort. Really, how could I pass up this incredible mess of a fish?

An artist's representation of a piranha; its blank expression, its gaping teeth and glorious frown. An idea came to mind and it took this shape. Who could duplicate this vision? And how sweet to think that it was placed on the sand in hopes that someone, someday, would walk away with it proudly in hand and see it for the beauty it was meant to be.

With its jagged teeth which have been crudely carved out and painted with what looks like a very quick effort, decently applied scales for texture and visual interest; an underside that is bordering toward possibly rotting or at least warping out of its natural state; the wear and tear throughout shares a story within itself, that I just had to have it. It's curious, wonderful and humorous. A treasure.

Just so you know -to anyone who is interested- Jamaica is sold out of piranhas!

1 comment:

Spencer said...

Hah! I love this thing! Reminds me of watching Piranha while I was sick... such a ridiculously cheesy movie.