KEEPER OF THE FLAME
In the hands of a great artist, a fiberglass fish can look exactly like one from the sea…or like something otherworldly. Artist Todd Michael Guevara, aka The Fish Man, prefers the latter, dressing his creations in 1950s-style hotrod flames.
Guevara's not an angler, but he does have an eye for fish. "It's all about their shape," he says. "Then, too, I love the juxtaposition of flames on something from the water." An artist and musician, he started painting fiery waves of orange, black, purple, and yellow on fish in 1989 just for himself, but people kept buying them. So five years ago he slapped some of his creations on the side of his RV, which is now a rolling billboard, and hit the road. He's displayed his art everywhere from motorcycle rallies to boat shows.
Guevara creates his fish from scratch, but it's the paint job that makes them special. He shapes the flame pattern with fine pinstriping tape, covering the area with an opaque white, then applying and blending three flame colors. By the time he's done, each fish will have had up to 60 coats of paint. A Guevara sailfish of about the same size as the realistic one we made with MIke Kirkhart costs about $950. If you can stand the heat of his hot colors, check out his work at www.thefishman.net or call 949/472-8633.