It’s Shark Week in America, which, for the uninitiated, is an annual programming block on the Discovery Channel that was originally devoted to “conservation efforts and correcting the kinds of misconceptions about sharks that helped to spread.” It airs evert summer, a time when the public’s fear of beachside shark attacks is at its heights.
In honor of the wildly popular phenomenon—it is the longest-running cable TV programming event ever—we rounded up some of the best artworks of the fearsome fish. From John Singleton Copley’s dramatic portrayal of a young man’s torturous battle to free himself from the animal’s clutches to Damien Hirst’s infamous tiger shark, here are our favorites.
John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark (1778)
Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991)
Macon Reed, (2019)
Don Ed Hardy, (1995)
Michael Muller, (2016)
Katherine Bernhardt, Sharks, Toilet Paper, and Plantains (2015)
Robert Longo, (2014)
Robert Nava, Splash Cloud (2020)
Winslow Homer, (1899/1906)
Peter Saul, SHARK IN MY BATHTUB (2011)
David Shrigley, (2021)
John Baldessari, (2009)