Sharks In The City

A Solo Exhibition By Andre Miripolsky

Sharks have been a totem of symbolism and meaning for a vast array of world cultures throughout the ages. Although the shark is fiercely aggressive and deadly, it effortlessly moves through the water with style, grace and incredible presence.  It represents uncompromising, unwavering commitment and dedication to its pursuits once it decides what to do. It symbolizes power, fearlessness, ultimate survival and is always moving forward. The Shark never looks back!

In my content bag of tricks as an artist, I have chosen to work with iconic symbolism since my early teens. I started working with shark imagery in the late 80s.  Humor has always been a pivotal point of view for me to interpret through my artistic process. I especially love irony and its ironic use in creating a humorous twist.  I somehow saw the shark as being a creature which I could work with in this regard. Since the shark can do anything at all, why not give it a more humorous spin in all things "sharky."

I first started using them as individual characters not tied to any particular themes. It was in 2000 that I first put legs and fins as arms on them for a 3'x36' light board painting for a gallery show in New York City.  It wasn't until 2006 when I was commissioned to create a mural sized painting running along a 60' long lap pool for a very modern home in the Hollywood hills,  I saw the water in the pool and of course thought immediately  of sharks!  The title of the mural became "Sharks in the City", as the storyline depicted schools of Great Whites invading and conquering Los Angeles and Hollywood. 

I'm happy to report that the sharks are still circling and have morphed into what you are viewing in this exhibition today.  Based on this success, I decided to continue moving forward with a Mr. Shark character. I put them in sunglasses, gave them huge ironic interpretive  smiles and gave them an attitude to show off in front of various iconic Los Angeles architectural landmarks.

So much of my creative process over the past 14 years has been driven to visually represent Los Angeles as my constant muse.  I found that by marrying my shark characters with symbols of L.A. made for a deliciously ironic stew which I couldn't resist.  The sharks you see here are specifically my L.A. Sharks and like Los Angeles itself are always moving forward in celebration of the city.

Exhibition Information:

As part of the monthly Downtown Art Walk, a reception will be held

on Thursday, July 11th from 6-8 pm in the gallery of the Fine Arts Building at 811 W. 7th Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Join us for Live Jazz by Granville "Danny" Young 

& tasty flavors from local Brazilian favorite, Wood Spoon.
The self-guided public art phenomenon known as the Downtown Art Walk brings thousands of art lovers and community members to an ever-evolving Downtown Los Angeles. With exciting and unique offerings around every corner, Downtown celebrates the arts on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the galleries, artist studios, and cultural institutions of the Historic Core, including the Fine Arts Building. More info at:


Sharks In The City - A Solo Exhibition by Andre Miripolsky


Art Reception: Thursday, July 11th 6-8pm (Downtown Art Walk)


The Fine Arts Building - Historic Cultural Monument
811 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90017
Gallery Hours: 8am-8pm daily 


Art Meets Architecture