Clever artists have found ways to make veritably any place in the world a gallery venue. It’s why Central Park turned blazing orange for a week during 2005’s “The Gates” exhibit.
It’s also why cities all over the world don’t paint over graffiti masterpieces by the likes of Banksy, Shepard Fairey and other world-renowned street artists. But what about an art exhibit that you can only enjoy if you’re willing to submerge 90’ ft. underwater?
It’s happening now off the coast of the Key West, and it’s an exhibition that’s being orchestrated by renowned artist Andreas Franke. The exhibit is part of Franke’s “Sinking World” series, which was originally on display in Barbados.
In early April, the exhibit was moved to the coast of Florida and the Vandenberg artificial reef, where it will be on display for viewers for four months. Learn more on their Facebook page.
The art photographer created a series of images that were inspired by what he called a flamboyant era of European style and cultural history. These images show scenes of women gossiping while enjoying a picnic or taking a stroll while whirling their umbrellas often while in underwater environments of their own.
The images, which measure roughly 3’ ft. by 4.5’ ft., were then encased in Plexiglas and sealed in stainless steel frames that were coated with silicon before being transported more than 90’ below the surface. They were then attached to the sides of the 523’ foot long Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg’s weather deck.
The result is a little eerie. It is also a surprising detour for divers, who can tour the exterior of the wreckage site. Divers can admire the mounted artworks, which have a surreal quality outside of the water, let alone well beneath the surface.
Though Franke has experimented with this sort of installation before, most notably along the SS Stavronikita off the Caribbean island of Barbados), this is the first time his work has been displayed underwater in the United States.
To see the exhibit, plan a trip to USNS Vandenberg, which is found in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and is one of the “newest” wrecks to be added to the site. Some dive resorts and dive trips are available that frequent the area, and the large images will be easy to spot once exploring the site’s exterior.
If you want to check out the exhibit for yourself, you’ll want to start planning now. The images will only be on display until late July. After which the images will be removed from the water, dried and sealed and put on display above the surface at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Eco-Discovery Center.
So grab your friends who appreciate art and scuba diving, and check out this otherworldly exhibit. Located roughly 90’ ft. below the surface, this cool new display is taking the trend of unusual gallery venues to a whole new level.
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Image attribution: http://thesinkingworld.com/stavronikita/