Fish Tanks Strive for High-Water Mark

Artist Jeremy Fish details his new collaboration with AbsoluteXtracts.

Fish Tanks (Courtesy of AbsoluteXtracts)

Jeremy Fish wants you to smoke his art. Well, at least one specific piece of it.

Fish, the creative force behind the 10-foot-tall bronze bunny statue that sits in front of the Haight Street Art Center, has teamed up with AbsoluteXtracts to create Fish Tanks limited-edition vape pens. Featuring a gold battery decorated in Fish’s artwork and a cartridge filled with highly potent hybrid Tangie cannabis oil, the project is the latest in a series of inventive work from the New York transplant.

As noted in a recent cover story for SF Weekly, Fish was selected in 2015 as the inaugural San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries Artist in-Residence at City Hall. For the month of August, he will serve as the official Artist-in-Residence for Coit Tower. The residency is the latest jump in a burgeoning career: Fish spent his early days working with skateboarding publications like Thrasher, before launching a fruitful T-shirt and gallery partnership with local heavyweights Upper Playground. He is now one of the city’s most visible and accomplished artists.

Naturally, collaborating with enterprises in the cannabis space was imminent.

“The cannabis industry is one of the largest, most rapidly growing industries in our state, and the graphics tend to be a lot more fun than a tech logo,” Fish says. “I also take great pride in my involvement and relationships in the cannabis world, and hope to be able to contribute to the growing visual history of this blossoming industry.”

Fish has already contributed plenty, from his time helping cannabis pioneer Dennis Peron gather signatures to get California Proposition 215 on the ballot, to his work as an artist and designer for Haight Street’s Vapor Room, widely regarded as one of the most stylish dispensaries in the country, if not the world.

Patrons there have long enjoyed the work from Fish that lines the walls. In fact, many citizens of San Francisco have come to see his art as part of the city’s aesthetic, from the multitude of pieces featured at businesses across Fish’s neighborhood of North Beach to murals in the area to that large, metal bunny on Haight. Mayor Ed Lee even declared Nov. 4 in San Francisco as “Jeremy Fish Day”.

Now, he’s excited to unveil his Fish Tanks vape pens, a product that holds particular significance for him, since a brain aneurysm diagnosis required him to move away from the carcinogens associated with smoking, and switch to vaping instead.

Introduced to AbsoluteXtracts by a close friend and farmer, the two parties agreed to work together on an “upscale” version of the company’s line of strain-specific cartridges.

“I was excited to design, decorate, and test drive it,” Fish says. “However, it can’t just look fancy to be truly ‘premium.’ In order to feel comfortable putting my name on a ‘premium’ recreational drug, it needed to be over-the-top strong.”

As Fish explains in Jeremy Fish & AbsoluteXtracts: Cannabis Vape Collaboration, a short documentary from filmmaker Colin M. Day (Saving Banksy), he worked with AbsoluteXtracts to adjust the number of tangerine terpenes in the Tangie strain oil to give it exactly the flavor and potency he was seeking.

“It is, without question, the strongest cartridge on the market in California today,” Fish says in the film.

Decorated in gold fish scales, the battery is the most functional piece of Fish’s contributions to the product, but certainly not the only one. The packaging has both a fish drawing in front and another work on the back.

“The original illustration for the products is on the back of the packaging,” he explains. “It is a drawing I titled Happy Lungs. It is my visual description [of] how their oils make me feel. It was inspired by Absolute Xtracts and Northern California — home to the best cannabis in the world.”

For Fish, working on a product intended for the cannabis sector is no different from the way he approaches any art project.

“All projects start from the same place … ‘How can I make this thing look rad, and or tell a great story?’ This product is especially near and dear to me, as a medicinal card-carrying Californian for the better part of two decades.”

Fish Tanks are currently available in dispensaries in S.F., San Jose, Oakland, and Berkeley. The battery and cartridge combo carries a suggested retail price of $70. A package including the battery, cartridge, and a custom leather fish pouch is also available at a suggested retail price of $100 in a limited edition of 500.

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