|"There Once was an Octopus from Nantucket" is an installation created by BASK and Sarah Gail Hutcherson for the 2007 Art Basel Miami Beach premier and later shown in an exhibit in the Tampa Museum of Art. It is compiled of about 60 paintings that make up the entire installation. When it is assembled, it measures up to 20 ft in diameter and at it's peak, about 10ft tall. Bask is the moniker of one, Ales Bask Hostomsky, who along with his parents emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Florida and began to soak up Americaâ€™s popular iconic imagery along with the sun. He quickly began to notice similarities between the communistic iconic propaganda from his youth and the consumer advertising of his teens. Bask soon discovered that they were simply, two sides of the same coin. Each vying for our short-lived attention spans, all the while selling us (or telling us?) anything and everything from Marxism to McDonalds. Seeking conspiracies -and finding them embedded in the popular iconography of the mass media, Bask began painting bold, media critical broadsides to assuage his fear of being manipulated. A fear cultivated in a repressive regime, had now returned, but to the most unlikely and safest of places- The American living room. The artistâ€™s richly textural work imbue his â€śanti-iconic,â€ť sometimes satirical worldview with an undercurrent of dark emotion. His canvases are the cityâ€™s flotsam and jetsam of industrial and consumer decay. Combining his graphic skill with his trademark multi-layered applications, Bask builds up the surface only to break down the image. â€śMy art is a type of deconstruction,â€ť says Bask, â€śI try to focus on the imperfection of things, rather then their unachievable perfection.â€ť Baskâ€™s imagery has appeared in countless publications in both advertising and editorial capacities. His work has been shown in the Florida International Museum as well as the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, which also has his work in its permanent collection.