Maritime Art Week – The Art Boat

Since there are some cool contemporary maritime influenced art projects currently on exhibit across the globe, we’ve declared this Maritime Art Week. Here’s a peak at a another.

“That boat is a work of art.” No I’m not talking about one of the classic yachts designed by Olin Stephens, who by the way turned 100 years old on April 13. It’s the Tate to Tate Boat whose exterior and interior were designed by British artist Damien Hirst.

Tate Boat

While yesterday’s artist, Simon Patterson, was a Turner Prize shortlister, Hirst actually took the award home in 1995. Even if you don’t know anything about contemporary art you might have heard of Hirst’s diamond encrusted skull which last year reportedly sold for $100 million.

From the New York Times (July 13, 2003):

The new 220-seat catamaran, Hurricane Clipper, has been festively decorated by the British artist Damien Hirst, with dots in 35 colors. ”It’s a bit of fun,” said Mr. Hirst. ”Happy, optimistic, bright. If I’d done sharks, then people might not have wanted to get on.”

It is the fastest tour boat operating on the Thames, cruising at 27 knots. Video guides to Tate Modern and Tate Britain by the artists Anish Kapoor and Sam Taylor-Wood are shown on board.


The Tate Britain and Tate Modern are without a doubt my 2 favorite art museums on the planet. The Britain has the most amazing collection of J.M.W. Turners and the Modern’s Turbine Hall is an amazing space for large scale contemporary projects. You can ride in style between these 2 wonderful art destinations.

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

One thought on “Maritime Art Week – The Art Boat”

  1. Hello from New Orleans,

    We’ve just stumbled upon your post and wanted to share a link to several Watercraft sculptures that we’ve just put on exhibit at BECA gallery by Jennifer Torres. If you follow this slide show link you’ll find her pieces nearer to the end of the slideshow: We can also email a pdf of images to anyone who may be interested.

    Best regards,
    ~ Melissa + Kurt

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