Why is there a sailboat attached to the outside of one of America’s top contemporary art museums?

Lisa Phillips, Director of The New Museum explains why there is a 30′ sailboat attached to the outside of their building in this video.

Here’s a video of Ghost Ship sailing.

Here’s some background on this artwork and the artist:

Chris Burden at the juncture of art and architecture: Collaboration and Risk – New Museum – Six Degrees, February 28, 2015

Chris Burden – Extreme Measures – New Museum October 2, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Daily What?! The Sailboat and Skyscrapers On the New Museum NYC – Untapped Cities – August 17, 2015

One Year After Chris Burden’s Death, You Can Still See “Ghost Ship” Docked at the New Museum – ArtFCity – May 10, 2016

Chris Burden: Wikipedia | Gagosian Gallery | The Art Story

Turning Garbage into Art: Beach Plastic by Richard Land and Judith Selby Lang

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang collect tons of plastic debris off a beach near their Norther California home and clean, categorize and store it before using it to create beautiful artwork.

Explore their website Beach Plastic

via Colossal

What I’ve been up to for the past 3 months

OK, Sea-Fever has been dark for some time and that’s because in mid-March I started a new job as Managing Director of WaterFire Providence.  It’s destiny that a guy with a blog called Sea-Fever goes to work at a place called WaterFire.

If you’ve never experienced WaterFire you’ll probably just get confused if I try to tell you what it is. But I’ll try any way because you should know.

WaterFire Providence is a nonprofit organization whose mission is  to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. What’s WaterFire? This video does a better job than any words I could muster.

For a deeper dive on WaterFire, here’s an old video of founder Barnaby Evans explaining the artwork.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve been very fortunate to have some incredible jobs over the years and the chance to work with some amazing people; however, WaterFire is really a world apart. I’ll be writing about it here from time to time.

If you haven’t experienced WaterFire, you must come!

Yikes! Art Zombies Take Over Governor’s Island!

YouTube – PLOT09: This World & Nearer Ones – Trailer by the Bruce High Quality Foundation

This is another great Creative Time project. In case you aren’t familiar with Creative Time, they do site specific art in New York City. Their own words are better:

Creative Time strives to commission, produce and present the most important, ground-breaking, challenging and exceptional art of our times; art that infiltrates the public realm and engages millions of people in New York City and across the globe. We are guided by a passionate belief in the power of art to create inspiring personal experiences as well as foster social progress. We are thrilled when art breaks into the public realm in surprising ways, reaching people beyond traditional limitations of class, age, race and education. Above all, we privilege artists¹ ideas. We get excited about their dreams and respond to them by providing big opportunities to expand their practices and take bold new risks that value process, content and possibilities. We like to make the impossible possible, pushing artists beyond their comfort levels, just as they push us beyond ours. In the process, artists engage in a dynamic conversation between site, audience, and context, offering up new ideas about who an artist is and what art can be, pushing culture into fresh new directions. In the process, our artists¹ temporary interventions into public life promote the democratic use of public space as a place for free and creative expression.

My first experience with a Creative Time project was probably more than 25 years ago when they had an exhibition inside the East caisson of the Brooklyn Bridge called Art in the Anchorage. As with nearly all of their projects the space was as captivating and exciting as the art that filled it. Unfortunately, our times took it’s toll on this incredible series of art shows. From the Creative Time website:

Art in the Anchorage drew thousands of people to the bridge’s majestic vaults, while encouraging artists, musicians, performers, fashion designers, filmmakers, and dancers to create new, groundbreaking works until its closure in 2001 due to national security.

The current show, PLOT/09 This World & Nearer Ones, which is on Governor’s Island this summer and open and free to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays looks very interesting too.

Creative Time's  PLOT09 - This World & Nearer Ones

A stone’s throw from the southern tip of Manhattan, Governor’s Island has an incredibly rich maritime history but access always been limited to the general public; so here’s your chance to check out the cool little island with some hot art. If you do go, please send me some pictures and your thoughts about the exhibition and I’ll create another post with your review(s) of it.

Just keep an eye out for the zombies! (Bonus points if you capture any on film)

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Sea-Fever Style – Huguette Despault May’s Rope Drawings


Last Sunday we dragged the kids out to go to gallery hopping in New Bedford, MA. Yup, that’s right, I said New Bedford. Believe it or not there’s a vibrant art community mostly hidden away in the vast old mill buildings that are scattered around the city.  Each year in the early fall there is an open studio weekend where you can go see and buy art and meet artists. Luckily Luke and Joy fancy themselves as mini-Matisses so this adventure is not too tough a sell.

One of the most amazing shows was by Huguette Despault May who does these very large charcoal drawings of ropes. The above photo will give you some sense of the scale of these works.  From the artist’s website about her Hawser Series (2007):

This series began with the chance discovery of an abandoned ship’s hawser* line languishing in an old cart at the Ropeworks building in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The rope’s heft and tattered state immediately suggested an exciting series of drawing investigations. Having viewed my earlier rope drawings, its owner – who happened to be the last of the Ropeworks master rope makers – offered to let me keep my new found treasure. Each drawing in the Hawser Series derives from that single piece of rope.


Despault May’s amazing work can be viewed at her website but due to it’s awesome scale, it’s best viewed in person.

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