ART 1 – 2/6/12 Underwater environmental artist


Go to the following website: JasondeCairesTaylor

Navigating through the website, look thoroughly at the home page, the gallery, film, bio, and environment.

Post a response about what you find most interesting about his work, any thoughts or ideas it inspires, and any questions that you would ask him if you met him….

For your hour sketchbook drawing, work from ideas that you get from this artist and this site.


50 responses »

  1. i think his art is a really cool concept because it has the potential to become a coral reef, which the oceans are coming to lack. Making art that will be taken over by the sea and it’s creatures to become something even more beautiful is just very neat. These statues remind me of the envoronmental issues of the oceans and how coral reefs are slowly bleaching and disappearing, which is such a sad thought. If I could ask him, I would ask why he chose the statues he did.

  2. I think that overall, the most interesting thing to me about his art is the affect that the water gives when combined with the look of a statue. In addition, I find it interesting that if one was to observe his art, the fact that fish wold be coming and going would change the works in small, but interesting ways. If I was able to ask him any question, I would probably ask how many sets of statues he normally uses in a piece and how long it takes to make one set of statues

    • Yes, the fish make his sculptural installations ever-changing. If you look under Biography and the “Overview”, you’ll see the latest work had over 400 life size figures and he must have assistants.

      • I’m kind of wondering what is left up to the assistants; basically, whether they work on the pieces themselves, the positioning, or what else.

  3. First of all, I have to give props to this artist for even thinking of doing this underwater sculpture thing; it’s creative. As I was looking through his latest works, I really thought this might be a way to help coral creatures as we encountering environmental problems such as algal blooming, bleaching…etc (shown in his sculpture titled “Holy Man.”) If I had a chance to asking him questions I’d ask: What lead you to do this kind of art? What inspires your different sculptures? Do you think your work makes some sort of an environmental statement? (Also, how do you get your sculptures into the water/ the process.)

  4. this is a very unique idea how he uses the statues combined with the fish to make really stunning photos.
    I like to think of it as art within art because the statues which are art are shown in very cool and unique photographs.

    • The photos are a documentation of his sculptural installations. If you enjoy the photos, you might be interested in the films on that site which capture the work in a very interesting and artful way.

  5. Wow! His artistic skills are amazing! I gotta say that my favorite one was the structure of a man with what looks like cigarette butts poking inside of him. Its like an underwater museum! I’d do anything to see that in person. My questions to him would be, “how long do these projects take you to make?” and “what inspired you to start this?”

  6. My favorite of his works was ‘The Silent Evolution.’ There are some close up photographs of individual people, and I find their facial expressions very human and simple. In each photograph, a human face is always paired sea life of some sort, and I like the contrast between the human emotion and the ocean.

  7. I like how the sculptures are slowly turning into a reef with sponges, corals, fish and other sea life living with the statues. I like how he brought the loss of coral reefs to our attention using art in a different way than anyone else ever has. I wonder what archaeologists in a few hundred years will think when they find statues hidden underneath a (by then) old reef.

  8. I like the fact that though his statues are simple when they are brand new, over time the algae and sea creatures allow the works to keep growing and changing, becoming more complex until they are unrecognizable. I have to admit that I found the images of the coral and algae growing on the human statues (especially in Holy Man and Vicissitudes) to be really creepy. I couldn’t look at it for very long. It was definitely thought-provoking, because I’m still trying to figure out why I had such a strong reaction to that!
    Also, a lot of his art seems to be intended to make a statement (about couch potato lifestyle, pollution, etc.). This seemed kind of strange, because his art isn’t accessible to the general public. I would probably ask him about his motivation behind these works.

    • Good point about the role of his audience and the nature of his commentaries by the subjects he chooses. I like that you are so engaged with the nature of your response to his work. Good food for thought!

  9. I think it is really neat that a reef might be made by man and at the heart of it will always be the statues of men and women. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in 50 years. But why are they all sad, and how did they make them and get them down there?


  10. I think this is a great idea because once the sculpture is placed in the ocean, the sculpture is able to develop with the natural environment. Because of this, the sculptures he makes are being changed constantly, which isn’t something usual for pieces of art. Also, putting the sculptures underwater gives them an almost haunting and dark effect, which wouldn’t have been achievable on land.

  11. I like how it shows what the sea does, preserving what was left but also changing it into something new. My favorite are the ones that show the broken futures that have been almost fixed by the plants growing to fill the cracks.

  12. I think it’s really cool that he uses these statues to try to restore reefs. The statues look really cool when covered with coral and algae. I really like the affect it gives the figures of Vicissitudes. The detail on the sculptures and the way he expresses emotions on their faces is amazing. I would like to find out he he gets so many life size figures into the water and sets them up, his inspirations for the characters and their expressions, and what he is trying to portray with some of them.

    • So many people are curious about the installation process. We should look and see if there is a video on youtube of the construction and installation. (extra credit opportunity) There must be a lot of requirements and laws he has to follow so that he does no harm to the sea environment in the process.

  13. I admire that he uses his creative and artistic ways to promote undersea wild life and creating beautiful pictures. I like how he uses the statues under water and love how the colorful algae adheres to it.

  14. oh so i just think its cool how the statues change over time underwater, withda algae n stuff. It just makes them look completely different and unpredictable. Like with the holy man statue.

    if i met him id ask him how he figures out exactly where to place the statues.

    its really cool, and im not just saying that because i want to sound hip- it actually is. I never thought about how the environment could have an affect on the outcome of the art…

  15. I think that this is art is really different and amazing. I never thought before about underwater sculptures, but after seeing Jason deCaires Taylor’s work, I am very interested in the idea. His sculptures are beautiful and amazingly realistic, along with being good for the environment. The underwater setting provides a really haunting effect to it – almost like you’re looking at the ruins of an ancient civilization.

    I really thought of the idea of a “forgotten civilization” after watching 2:36 in the first video under the “Film” section, of a modern-day man watching TV. I’m not sure if the artist was implying any of this, but it made me think that perhaps it was a metaphor of how our culture will eventually be washed away and forgotten.

  16. There were two very importanct aspects of the art that I primarily took focus on. One was the fact that the art in a way relies on the characteristics of the enviornment. To me, the most beautiful part of the art was the impact the vegetation had on it. Especially the sponges. The othewr aspect I noticed was the enviornmental impact of the underwater sculptures. They are creating artificial reefs that are giving natural reefs time to repair from the devestation they have faced the last few decades.

  17. I really love the idea of making art that has a practical use as well as an aesthetic one. Making artificial reefs out of his art is simply inspired. The environmental aspect aside, I really love “La Evolucion Silenciosa.” Each statue seems to have its own story– the nun, the little girl, the janitor. Each looks so soulful, like they’ve really lived. This is something I haven’t really seen in sculpture. Usually they look stately, graceful, and blank. I think the artist made the pieces look really human.

  18. I really like that his art helps to restore reefs and marine life and gives sea animals a home. Although this does help the natural reef grow, it seems like it would attract tourists and snorkeling tours. The pollution from the boats and the sunblock on the snorkelers would eventually kill the natural reef. This has happened to many reefs in Hawaii.

  19. Wow… its amazing… It seems like it would cost a lot more to do than other kinds of art, but the underwater effect is very nice. I like the idea that it helps the reefs, but I agree with Ian that it could backfire. Putting statues underwater is a very creative idea, but getting them into the ocean seems like it would take a lot of effort.

  20. As I was looking at photos in the gallery, I noticed that this would be a very expensive and difficult project. It did, however, produce extremely cool-looking photographs. I was especially interested in the picture taken above water that showed the statues far below. The photo really showed how far away from the city those statues were and how deep underwater they were too. I also liked the photograph of the statue of a woman with a starfish.

  21. putting it underwater is nice because with fish and corals interacting with it gives an look of what human life would be like, if we all had gills

  22. Seeing these sculptures makes me think of, if they survived, what other cultures far in the future would think of our society and culture (Especially the fat guy eating a hamburger).
    Another thing I found interesting was how over time the corals and algae were taking over the statues giving them a unique look not able to be achieved by lame land statues.

  23. The most interesting aspect I see in this artwork is the contrast between life and death. The fish living freely around the dim, ancient artifacts often resembling dead cultural traits. Each image has a true message of life speaking through the dead objects (at least that’s what I see.)

  24. I think this is a fascinating idea, because once in the water the sculptures develop and change due to their natural surroundings. It was really interesting to look through and see how through time the sculptures were progressing due to their natural habitats. I also found the explanation regarding its environmental impact to be interesting. In terms of questions, I would be fascinated to find out more regarding the installation process.

  25. So interesting that he would think to do this. It’s amazing that you can combine the beauty of art simply placed to restore our coral reefs, which makes the pieces even more rare and ever-changing. The way the coral growth disfigures the stone figures makes me think that this is like nature’s triumph over the human race. It’s cool to see that his experience as a graffiti artist and his love for exploration of the ocean fostered this idea.

  26. I really like how a lot of his stuff is of stone statues of people under water. It creates an interesting abyss type affect how the back ground fades into the ocean unlike normal backgrounds which have a horizon. Also the positioning of the Statues in reference to the background creates a lot of nice visual effects.

  27. His art is very interesting. I like how he’s able to create art using the sculptures and from them, create a *new* form of art with the reefs and the fishes that live in them.

  28. I think it is interesting that the artist put statues under water. The sculptures make underwater have something new. It isn’t dangerous for the water and animals can live in them.

  29. What I find particularly interesting about this website is the way that the sculptures fit into each ecosystem. They don’t seem particularly out of place, and the artist did an interesting job of integrating her artwork into the undersea environment. It seems like he wants to make the fish and other life a part of his sculptures, somewhat like living sculptures. The difference is that these are less structured and more natural. However natural, they are still versatile and complement their ocean environment.

  30. i liked the sculptures and the deadness of everything. and the fact that it was all underwater made it that much more interesting to me.I believe that my favorite piece was the face with the life growing on it, to me it signified that even in death we can create life

  31. First thought was the parallel to the ‘clay’ soldiers of China with their horses and ‘chariots that were found buried with an Emperor. Different reasons for making the figures, BUT my next observation was that all the eyes were closed and many faces had sad or other benign expressions and I thought of ‘death masks’ created in plaster. One of his films showed this process but the person was a model and very much alive. The plaster dried and was removed; this became a mold for another medium. The mold could be removed from the living figure with perhaps the same “saw” that is used to remove a cast from a broken limb. You then put the halves together with bands after deciding on an entry point like the hollow of the human neck. Often liquid clay(slip) was poured in and as time passed, it would dry but not as a solid. You would pour out that which did not dry and let the ‘slip’ inside the mold dry. When the mold was separated, you had a replica of the head which could be fired in a kiln. This artist might pour in cement and wait for that to dry. Take the mold apart and viola, a solid head form resulted that could be refined with carving tools. Entire sections of a figure’s body could be done this way. Check out how the Statue of Liberty was made…. I observed that several figures appeared to be ‘tied’ together with perhaps rebar and all stood on a cement, poured platform to become a unit that was then lowered into the sea bed. Oh so clever!
    Love that this is such a creative way to rebuild reefs that die due to human intervention via pollution or otherwise…..It is really a very beautiful concept. Barb L

  32. I find it odd how the fish were feeding on the things growing on the statues. Normally it’s the humans who exploit the fish, not the other way around.

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