Fred Machetanz ''Waiting for the Whale!'' Stone Lithograph, Edition of 100
Fred Machetanz (1908 - 2002) "Waiting for the Whale!"
Stone Lithograph "13" x "18" image. Pencil signed an numbered edition of 100 lower margin. Excellent condition. No foxing or damage. Paper is still very we. Archivally framed on a hinge system with acid free tape. The frame is simple silver metal, 20" x 24".
By the artist:
Sketches for the lithograph were done on location as a member of Eskimo Seymour Tuzroyluk's whaling crew at Point Howe, Alaska. On the hunt, watch was kept at night and day and the hunter slept beside their oomiak (skin boat) at the edge of the field in readiness to go at the first alert. Once a whale was sighted the crew would rush to the oomiak and head out to sea full speed. During the month of the hunt, we sighted over 200 whales, 6 of which we followed but were seldom close enough to thrust the harpoon. Many times the whale would dive before we could reach it and then it was, we would sit quietly in our oomiak "Waiting For The Whale" to surface as in this lithograph. Extending beyond the bow of the oomiak is the harpoon. When thrust into the whale a small bomb would detonate delivering a mortal blow. Seen directly behind the harpoon in the bow is an inflated seal skin or "seal poke." This is attached in the shaft of the harpoon by a long length of rope. When a whale is killed and sinks, the poke remains afloat marking the sight of the kill. Directly behind the oomiak and crew are masses of pressed ice along he edge of an ice field. Due to the fields, the motion of the water is broken and often wonderfully cooperative reflections of men, oomiak and ice are reflected on the smooth surface.