This painting was based on a short lived television series called "Ripper" which tried unsuccessfully to follow up on the success of "Flipper". Although the show itself failed, this masterpiece of promotional art has stood the test of time.
The show was about the adventures of an adolescent boy, Chum, and his unusually intelligent and affable pet shark Ripper. In this episode, Chum is forced to escape from a boat of ruthless marine biologists by removing all his clothes as a distraction (and it certainly would have distracted me) and then jumping overboard. The biologists are furious as Ripper rushes in to gently take Chum into his mouth and carry him to safety.
At the last minute, 2 of the evil biologists, there on the left, lean over to squeeze Chums right nipple. The blatant sexuality of this image stunned TV viewers of the late 15th century.
Other various shows which tried to follow up on this theme were "Chipper" about a young boy and his pet beaver and "Zipper" about a young girl and her unusually intelligent and friendly overcoat.
-- Sister Randy