Mike Wilks: Ultimate Noah’s Ark: 1000-piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Author(s): MIKE WILKS


1000-Piece Interlocking Jigsaw Puzzle. The Ultimate Noahs Ark, 19901992, by Mike Wilks (British, b. 1947) Eye-twisting, brain-teasing painting by artist and author Mike Wilks. size: 29 x 20 in. Box size: 10 x 13 x 1? in.


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Two by two, over seven hundred quirky creatures crowd this eye-twisting, brain-teasing painting by artist and author Mike Wilks. In his book The Ultimate Noah’s Ark, Wilks challenges sharp-eyed viewers to find “a vociferous insect and a bird with a loud voice,” “a mammal with a nose for luck,” “a talkative antipodean,” and a single creature “alone and without a mate.” Might the mateless, mystery creature be clad in a gray business suit and playing a musical instrument? The search begins…

Known for works of intense complexity, Wilks takes readers to an entertaining and informative carnival of discovery. He invested more than 6,500 hours in researching and creating The Ultimate Noah’s Ark, with zoological information verified by London’s Natural History Museum.

Thoughtfully conceived and engagingly intricate, our 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles combine superb color reproduction, stunning and unusual images, and sturdy construction to delight generations of novice and veteran puzzleworkers.

For decades now, Mike Wilks has been on a mission to focus—and keep—our attention on art. Wilks is perhaps best known for his 1986 book The Ultimate Alphabet, his intensely imaginative and frequently humorous perspective on each letter in the English language. It’s the sort of instant classic that nearly thirty years later sits dog-eared and revered on shelves across Britain and the United States, marked up by siblings and tattered from generations of use. One of the great puzzle books, it stood as a challenge to each reader upon its release: find the more than seven thousand items Wilks had hidden throughout twenty-six paintings. 

The Letter S (detail), 1985
Consistently, Wilks hopes to encourage people to stop, look, and really see his artwork. In the Introduction to The Ultimate Alphabet: Complete Edition, which was published by Pomegranate in September, Wilks explains, “Our brain naturally filters out much of what we see, allowing us to concentrate only on those things that enable us to conduct our lives efficiently. If you add to this our over-familiarity with the visual sense compared with the others, the problem of seeing as opposed to looking begins to become apparent. To see rather than merely look, we must make a huge effort.” 

The Ultimate Noah’s Ark (detail), 1990–1992
In each book Wilks has created—including The Weather WorksThe Ultimate Spot-the-Difference BookThe Ultimate Noah’s Ark, and more—his intricate paintings have indeed been an effort to slow us down, draw us in, and make us think. He has argued that visitors to an art gallery might spend six seconds looking at a work, an improbable thought when considering Wilks’s paintings. One would do well to examine his slightly surreal images with a magnifying glass. 

His witty, occasionally dark works belie the approachable artist behind them. Wilks is in touch onFacebook, where he often responds to notes and queries from fans eagerly awaiting his next work, the lasting popularity of which testifies to the success of his mission. 

There is much to be found in Wilks’s miniature worlds. 


General Fields

  • : 9780764971945
  • : Pomegranate Communications, Incorporated
  • : Pomegranate Communications, Incorporated
  • : 0.953
  • : May 2015
  • : 335mm X 259mm X 51mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Toy
  • : English