Eric Molinsky is a reporter for Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen. He co-produced several hours of the American Icons series, including The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, The Lincoln Memorial, and The Wizard ...
Underwater Sculpture Park
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 06:00 AM
“Haunting” and “beautiful” are generic terms can apply to so many works of art. But Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculptures truly are haunting and beautiful. The sculptures are mostly human figures, modeled after locals in Cancun and the West Indies and made of an artificial material that acts like coral reef. Collectively, they comprise the world’s only underwater sculpture gardens. They serve a practical purpose as well — to divert the millions of tourists away from the real coral reef.
When the sculptures are first installed, they look like figures from Pompeii, frozen in time. Since many of the figures are sculpted from face masks, their expressions are scrunched up, as if they were trying to hold their breath as long as they could. Haunting, right? The beauty is immediately evident as the figures appear to decay — but actually they’re growing with pink, yellow and green marine life. It’s a calming and pleasant look at eternity: seeing death as a part of the natural course of life on this planet, and life that's so much bigger than the parameters of our daily concerns.
Slideshow: Underwater Sculpture Gardens