Many people don't know that one of the greatest things that came out of WWI are warships painted in bold colors inspired by Futurism and Cubism.
Now, through a Public Art Fund Project, New York artist Tauba Auerbach will mirror the same art movement by transforming a century-old boat, which will offer rides to people around the city's harbor through September.
About The Boat
The boat will not only be a star on Instagram, but will also give its riders amazing views of the New York Skyline. Entitled Flow Separation, the historic boat was painted in a white and red marble pattern. The vessel was built in 1931 and was called John J. Harvey fireboat. It became famous for helping people evacuate lower Manhattan during 9/11.
Furthermore, the painting on the boat is a part of 14-18 NOW, a First World War centenary arts Program based in the UK, which gave funds to repaint the ship. Nov. 11 marks the centennial anniversary for the end of WWI.
Boats being painted in astounding colors dates back to the "Dazzle Camouflage" pioneered by British marine artist Norman Wilkinson who thought that adorning the ships in vibrant paint and geometric shapes would make it hard for other boats to target.
Auerbach was influenced by Cubism and Vorticism, an abstract art form which originated in Great Britain, in her art for the ship. Although the paint is meant to restore the glory by covering the rusted paint, Auerbach insisted on doing glamorously, saying she wants to turn the boat into a "dazzle ship."
According to Auberbach, she did not want to forget the initial identity of the boat, so she took inspiration of its old paint job. She added that the palette she used also exaggerated that by being "dazzling," it was more about outsmarting and confusing, rather than hiding from other boats. The artist loved the cleverness it brought.
The Public Art Fund stated that the artist is known for her experimentation on paint. She mostly plays with many techniques to explore dimensionality and perception. She created the design for the boat using marbling paper, in which ink floats on a liquid bath. By combing through the surface, amazing and various wake patterns are formed.
The hour-long boat ride will take place every weekend from July 14 to Sept. 23 for free. Its route will be from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park to Pier 25 in Hudson River Park and Pier 66a.