Alien 21 is an arrow squid (Doryteuthis plei) that is making a kissy face to my lens. It’s the same species featured in Alien #14, which is a top-down view in a cloud of it’s own ink, so check that one out to understand its anatomy a bit better. But this one is all puckered up. What appears to be it’s mouth below and between it’s eyes, is actually it’s excurrent siphon, which is sort of it’s jet propulsion part, among other uses. It’s mouth is the tiny crown in between it’s arms at the tom center. And what appears to be ears, is actually it’s fins at the far end of it’s mantle. Hope that didn’t ruin the humor for you!
Arrow squid have the unnerving habit of racing towards any light source while I’m hunting for Aliens in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night. So that means, I’m often fixated on a pea-sized larval fish, and then it feel like I got had an orange thrown at my chest or face. And often, where there’s one arrow squid, there’s a whole shoal of arrow squid, so now it feels like someone is throwing an entire bag of oranges at me! I try to see it from the squid’s perspective; it has never seen a light like that – must…go…towards…. and then it may have never felt a solid object in it’s entire life, so sometimes they ink themselves, and they’re usually stunned for 5-10 seconds. That’s the moment to take the shot, because then they’ll bolt away down in to the darkness before I can blink.
I’m completely fascinated by squid – their intelligence, their agility, their charismatic eyes, and most of all, their language of chromatophore pigment cells. If you nerd out on squids like me, be sure to also check out Alien #3, a sharp-ear enope squid, and Alien #20, a diamond squid, as well as Squid Game in the Fish Faces Collection.
For printing, we offer the Aliens as squares on either aluminum or canvas, but they are customizable into other shapes if your design plan requires it. You can purchase this luxury wall art online in standard sizes, but if you’d like to discuss a custom crop or size, please contact one of our design consultants at the art gallery. Perhaps our most popular arrangement for Aliens is a grouping of three of our 15″x15″ aluminums, but I encourage you to discuss the size & shape of your project’s wall, and one of our design consultants will help you develop an amazing contemporary art installation that blurs the lines between natural beauty and scientific fascination. Alien 21 is available up to a maximum size of 54″.