Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Speaking of Inspiring Women…

O’Keeffe in a 1929 gelatin silver print by her husband. Credit ALFRED STIEGLITZ; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alfred Stieglitz Collection

You’ve got to admire how O’Keeffe was the master of her own public persona at a time when there was no social media.  She told photographers how to “shoot her”, not the other way around.

A refreshing new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (on until July 23, 2017) for the first time combines O’Keeffe’s art and her wardrobe with photographic portraits. “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

The painter of simplified images of enlarged flowers, Lake George tree trunks and New Mexico’s terra-cotta hills applied her meticulous sense of austerity and detail to every garment she owned. Some she designed and sewed herself, others she had custom made, and still others she bought off the rack or in antique shops (Japanese kimonos, for example).

O’Keeffe’s self-created image shaped her work’s accessibility, while at the same time shielding her privacy. This unity is revealed in the links drawn among some 50 works of art and 50 garments or ensembles, accessories included, and nearly 100 photographs of the artist taken by 23 photographers, from Ansel Adams and Cecil Beaton to Andy Warhol and Bruce Weber.

The greatest number of these images were taken by O’Keeffe’s husband, the eminent photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, often considered her domineering mentor, whom she met in 1916, began living with in 1918 and married in 1924.

For years, O’Keeffe limited her wardrobe to mainly black and/or white, until the Southwest loosened her color sense a bit and also introduced her to denim and jeans. She favored an androgynous look, frequenting the same New York men’s tailor — Knize — (as did Marlene Dietrich), liked Ferragamo flats and wore little jewelry. A rare favorite, visible in many photographs, was a brass brooch made for her by Alexander Calder. It represents her initials, OK, with ancient rock-painting complexity, and she wore it vertically to make it more abstract. In later years, she had it copied in silver, because she thought brass didn’t look good with her white hair.

Source: NY Times


Art/Exhibits: Light and Space

This UNUSUAL INSTALLATION by James Turrell is designed to entirely eliminate the viewer depth perception.light1

Perceptual deprivation is something I struggle with at times all the time when trying to park parking my car but this is completely different.  In general his work blends the worlds of art, science, architecture, astronomy, mathematics, archaeology, and spirituality.

James Turrell, Breathing Light

Ongoing at LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Artlight2

You don little sock booties and walk through a sloping curved room with a strong light source at one end that continuously changes color.  A little 60’s psychedelic, a little eerie mixed with some unexpected enlightenment.

About the Artist: 

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles in 1943 and attended Pomona College, where he studied art, art history, mathematics, perceptual psychology and astronomy. He took graduate courses at the University of California, Irvine, and received a master’s degree in fine art from Claremont Graduate School.

Art/Food: Dinner at the Frick

This is frickin amazing…

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf

Daniel Rose and Marie-Aude, Styling by Diana Tsui. Suit, shirt, and shoes by Tom Ford. Dress by Ralph Lauren Collection. Shoes by Oscar de la Renta. Tablecloth by E. Braun & Co. Candelabras by Lynn Field at Bergdorf Goodman.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine
Daniel Rose and Marie-Aude, Styling by Diana Tsui. Suit, shirt, and shoes by Tom Ford. Dress by Ralph Lauren Collection. Shoes by Oscar de la Renta. Tablecloth by E. Braun & Co. Candelabras by Lynn Field at Bergdorf Goodman.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Inside Le Coucou Chef Daniel Rose’s Seafood Dinner for Two at the Frick

A feast for the senses! I mean what could make you feel better and be more romantic for a foodie/art lover than fine French dining inside a New York  Fine Art Museum among distinguished Old Master paintings while wearing designer duds. Nothing I say!

For this year’s Holiday Food special,  American cooks with French restaurants were sent into homes (and the Frick) to host relatively easy-to-replicate dinners.

It smells like France in here,” chef Daniel Rose says upon entering the Fragonard Room of the Frick Collection. It’s a welcome smell for the 39-year-old Chicago-born chef, who rose to fame in Paris for his tiny, seasonally focused restaurant Spring, and who decamped to New York with his family this past June to launch the grand, inventive brasserie Le Coucou. He was at The Frick recently to cook a romantic dinner for his wife, Marie-Aude, surrounded by the looming The Progress of Love panels, done by one of his favorite painters. (When he first arrived in Paris to study at the American University, he found himself at a Drouot auction at which he bought a “possible” Fragonard, cut from a larger painting, and had it cleaned and sold it for three times more.) For this intimate dinner (save for a crowd of security guards — the Frick has never allowed food to be consumed in this room before), Rose set out to design a menu that would allow him to spend more time eating and less time cooking: warm briny oysters with seaweed butter and oeuf norvégien (an artichoke heart topped with a soft-boiled egg and a creamy coating of crème fraîche with chives and enveloped in smoked salmon), followed by a bourride bursting with clams, mussels, large prawns, and black bass. As the two finished up their meal with a classic dense chocolate mousse and royale d’orange cookies, he said: “There’s no place I’d rather be than here.”

Art/Culture/Fashion – Bellissima

Italy High Fashion 1945 – 1968.  Okay, if you must know…this to me is emozionante.


A new exhibit offers an up-close look at dresses, handbags, and jewelry from some of Italy’s most iconic fashion houses.  How can I not find this exciting?

Milan 3 Photo by Steven Brooke Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.
Photo by Steven Brooke
Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.
Photo by Steven Brooke Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Steven Brooke
Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.

Didn’t make it to Milan for Fashion Week? Good news: “Bellissima,” an exhibit focusing on Italian style, will make its sole American appearance at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Bellissima highlights looks from the 1945–1968 period of groundbreaking Italian design and features pieces from houses like Pucci, Fendi, Valentino, and Simonetta. And the big names aren’t only represented on labels: one of the exhibit’s curators is W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, and the whole project is a partnership with Maxxi, the buzzy Rome contemporary art museum designed by Zaha Hadid. Of the 230 garments on display, many were custom pieces handmade for movie stars like Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner. And because no Italian fashion exhibit would be complete without them, there will also be handbags and leather goods in the show, plus plenty of jewels from corporate sponsor Bulgari. (It’s not just necklaces and earrings—be on the lookout for a gem-encrusted cigarette case.) Many of the looks will be displayed alongside film clips, fashion magazine spreads, or gorgeous black-and-white photos of Elizabeth Taylor to give a sense of context.

This moment in history laid the foundation for Italy’s future ready-to-wear fashion, and the exhibition traces its beginnings within the social and cultural context,” Tonchi said in a statement. “The high fashion of that time was grounded in a strong sense of reality: They were luxury creations, but nonetheless practical; precious, embroidered textiles that had a certain simplicity; short cocktail dresses that allowed for movement; and warm, roomy coats accompanied by oversized handbags. This awareness of reality created an opportunity for a fashion system that truly served its patrons, with garments designed for the life of the modern woman.” The post-World War II period was crucial in Italy, as the country built its economy back up largely by encouraging manufacturing, especially for textiles—which gave the country’s emerging design stars plenty of local goods to work with.

Relive the era of Alta Moda at NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida until June 5th.

While in south Florida, might we suggest staying in one of these Traveler-approved hotels and resorts?

Source: Lilit Marcus for CN Traveler


Tonight (April 25th) join me at the fun annual Arts Club California Wine Fair taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Rounding out the rich array of 400 premium wines is an extensive silent auction featuring  premium California wines, luxury goods, and entertainment and travel packages.

As the Arts Club’s signature spring fundraiser, all proceeds from event ticket sales and auction packages go toward the development of new Canadian plays and staging world-class theatre created by Vancouver artists.

A few tickets are still available. Price: $90  To purchase please visit:


Art – unfinished

“Art completes what nature cannot bring to a finish” –  Aristotle

Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the catchy quote, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519) Head and Shoulders of a Woman (La Scapigliata) ca. 1500–1505 Oil, earth, and white lead pigments on poplar 9 3/4 × 8 1/4 in. (24.7 × 21 cm)
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
Head and Shoulders of a Woman (La Scapigliata)
ca. 1500–1505 Oil, earth, and white lead pigments on poplar
9 3/4 × 8 1/4 in. (24.7 × 21 cm)

But I say….”along with our perception for beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Intriguing, as a new exhibit features famous artists who’ve left works of art undone.  But to an untrained eye how are we to know the difference? Even unfinished works are breathtakingly beautiful and you have to wonder what they’d look like complete. Or at least what would the artist have liked us to see, feel and think?

With the Whitney now at home in the Meatpacking District, the old building has become an extension of the Metropolitan Museum and a chance for them to expand their contemporary collection. Now called the Met Breuer, the first exhibit is called “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” which is a compilation of unfinished work from artists throughout history.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) Street in Auvers-sur-Oise 1890 Oil on canvas 29 × 36 3⁄8 in. (73.5 × 92.5 cm)
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) Street in Auvers-sur-Oise
1890 – Oil on canvas 29 × 36 3⁄8 in. (73.5 × 92.5 cm)

My question is how do they know they’re unfinished unless it’s really obvious?  I guess we’ll leave that to the experts and take their word for granted.  I’m so curious.  Even surviving works of Leonardo da Vinci that look finished to modern eyes (above) in some cases were apparently not.  I find this fascinating.

Running until September 4, 2016, the Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible exhibition assembles 197 works spanning the Renaissance to the present, with the goal of exploring the notion of what it is for a work of art to be “finished.” As the show organizers put it:

“Beginning with the Renaissance masters, this scholarly and innovative exhibition examines the term ‘unfinished’ in its broadest possible sense, including works left incomplete by their makers, which often give insight into the process of their creation, but also those that partake of a non finito—intentionally unfinished—aesthetic that embraces the unresolved and open-ended. Some of history’s greatest artists explored such an aesthetic, among them Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, and Cézanne.

 Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) Gardanne 1885–1886 Oil on canvas 31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64.1 cm)  
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) Gardanne
1885–1886, Oil on canvas – 31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64.1 cm)

I never want projects to be finished; I have always believed in unfinished work. I got that from Schubert, you know, the ‘Unfinished Symphony.‘ Yoko Ono

Certainly intriguing… don’t you think?

The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue









ART/Culture: Undressed – a BRIEF history of Underwear

From practicality to provocation, one of our most everyday objects tends to attract interest, debate and sometimes controversy.


Every fashion maven knows there is an art to well-made undies.  And for those of us who appreciate them a new exhibit (CN Traveler Magazine calls it one of the ten best fashion exhibits) at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London from 16 April 2016 – 12 March 2017.

This exhibition will address the practicalities of underwear and its role in the fashionable wardrobe whilst highlighting its sensual, sexual appeal. The exhibition will explore dress reformers and designers who argued for the beauty of the natural body, as well as entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators who have played a critical role in the development of increasingly more effective and *comfortable underwear.

jesus fernandez lingerie (Buenos Aires)
jesus fernandez lingerie – the line I represented and sold in Canada after meeting my match in a  Buenos Aires shoppe window


A Brief History of Underwear will display more than 200 examples of men’s and women’s underwear from about 1750 to the present day. In particular, it will investigate how underwear design combines the practical and personal with the sensory and fashionable, in the process both protecting and enhancing the body. The exhibition will map developments in underwear design and explore the ways in which fashion designers have transformed underwear into outerwear.undressed2Curating an exhibition is a process built on collaboration, between conservators, researchers, designers and other specialists.

The exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, will be on display at the V&A from 16th April 2016 to 12th March 2017.  V&A Museum: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom

Sponsored by Agent Provocateur and Revlon – two brands who aim to celebrate and empower women.

Agent Provocateur is delighted to partner with the V&A to be the leading lingerie sponsor for the Undressed Exhibition. Founded in 1994 Agent Provocateur’s unique brand image is renowned for being provocative while empowering women.

Revlon: With over 80 years’ experience revolutionizing the beauty industry and allowing women to express their most glamorous selves, Revlon are thrilled to be a sponsor of the exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear.

A word from an undergarment connoisseur know-it-all:undressed3*Like most women I love a “no show” so I say hurrah for the invisible comfortable seamless pretty and practical (no VPL) every day wear brands like Commando and Cosabella .  Then there’s all the others………….let’s face it, G-strings and some bustiers are not the most comfortable undergarments.  But like high heels they make you feel sexier and in my opinion,  necessary options to the fashionable woman’s wardrobe.

Check out my love of lingerie board on Pinterest:
















Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

One Artist, Two Museums, Many Interpretations

Robert Mapplethorpe, Poppy, 1988, jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Robert Mapplethorpe (Poppy, 1988)

He had me at “Some Women” – a hauntingly breathtaking book celebrating female beauty with more than eighty photographs of his friends, fellow artists and celebrities. I bought this to use for a coffee table from a used book store years ago because the images moved me and I also know a few of the women featured in it.

This month, Robert Mapplethorpe will take over Los Angeles, with a major two-part retrospective on view at LACMA  (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 20–July 31, 2016.

The Perfect Medium will present the full scope of the artist’s work, from his earliest collage-based works, through his early Polaroids, to late floral still-lifes and portraits and seldom-seen moving image works. With such rich visual and archival resources on display, visitors will have an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on Mapplethorpe’s legacy, which has been both social and aesthetic.

I love a leather jacket:

Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1980, promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Robert Mapplethorpe  (Self-Portrait, 1980)

He sought what he called “perfection in form” in everything from acts of sexual fetishism to the elegant contours of flower petals.  The exhibition also highlights the artist’s relationship to New York’s sexual and artistic undergrounds, as well as his experimentation with a variety of media.


Photo #1 Poppy: jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photo # 2 Self Portrait: promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.



Art of the DANCE & DEGAS – two beauties

A STRANGE NEW BEAUTY –  at the MoMAdegas

“Degas’s focus on dance is part of his engagement with depicting the subjects, spaces, rhythms, and sensations of modern life,” says Jodi Hauptman, senior curator in the department of drawings and prints at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, where an exhibition that explores Degas’s extensive work in monotype, “Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty,” opens up next month.  “His vision wanders and focuses, taking note of what usually is overlooked and honing in on what best reflects the conditions of his time.”

I found the article below INSPIRING.  It encompasses the perfect ménage à trois of Style: Art, Dance & Fashion.

As she channels the artist Edgar Degas’s most famous ballet works ahead of this new exhibition, dancer Misty Copeland opens up about what it feels like to make history.

Ballet dancers, Misty Copeland says, like to be in control. It’s something about ballet itself—the painstaking quest to achieve the appearance of a kind of effortless athleticism, fluidity, and grace—that makes it hard to let go. “I think all dancers are control freaks a bit,” she explains. “We just want to be in control of ourselves and our bodies. That’s just what the ballet structure, I think, kind of puts inside of you. If I’m put in a situation where I am not really sure what’s going to happen, it can be overwhelming. I get a bit anxious.”

Copeland says that’s part of the reason she found posing for the images that accompany this story—which were inspired by Edgar Degas‘s paintings and sculptures of dancers at the Paris Opéra Ballet—a challenge.

Copeland re-creates Degas's The Star; Valentino dress, $15,500, 212-355-5811; Wilhelm headpiece, $495, and corsages,$135,; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900.
Copeland re-creates Degas’s The Star; Valentino dress, $15,500, 212-355-5811; Wilhelm headpiece, $495, and corsages,$135,; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900.

“It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body,” she says. “Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there’s movement. That’s what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You’re trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving.”

Copeland as Degas's Dancer; Carolina Herrera top, $1,490, skirt, $4,990, 212-249-6552; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece, $750,; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900; Mood Fabrics fabric (worn as a belt), 212-230-5003. 
Copeland as Degas’s Dancer; Carolina Herrera top, $1,490, skirt, $4,990, 212-249-6552; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece, $750,; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard, 212-869-8900; Mood Fabrics fabric (worn as a belt), 212-230-5003.

It should probably come as no surprise that Copeland would have trouble conforming to someone else’s idea of what a ballerina should look like; she gave that up a long time ago. At 33, she’s in the midst of the most illuminating pas de deux with pop culture for a classical dancer since Mikhail Baryshnikov went toe-to-toe with Gregory Hines in White Nights. Last June, she was named a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American woman to hold that distinction. She was also the subject of a documentary, Nelson George’s A Ballerina’s Tale, which chronicled her triumph over depression and body-image issues, as well as her comeback from a career-threatening leg injury in 2012. The story of her rise from living in a single room in a welfare motel with her mother and five siblings to the uppermost reaches of the dance world has become a sort of 21st-century parable: the unlikely ballerina, as Copeland referred to herself in the subtitle of her 2014 memoir, Life in Motion, who may be on her way to becoming the quintessential ballerina of her time.

Copeland as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green); Oscar de la Renta dress, $5,490, 212-288-5810; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece corsage, $70, 
Copeland as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green); Oscar de la Renta dress, $5,490, 212-288-5810; Mokuba ribbon, $11 per yard; Hatmaker by Jonathan Howard headpiece corsage, $70,

Degas’s ballet works, which the artist began creating in the 1860s and continued making until the years before his death in 1917, were infused with a very modern sensibility. Instead of idealized visions of delicate creatures pirouetting onstage, he offered images of young girls congregating, practicing, laboring, dancing, training, and hanging around studios and the backstage areas of the theater. Occasionally, portly men or dark figures appear, directing or otherwise coloring the proceedings. “People call me the painter of dancing girls,” Degas is said to have once told his Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard, the Larry Gagosian of the day. “It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.” It’s an unsentimental place, Degas’s ballet, and his representation of the dancers is far from sympathetic. But it’s a space where he discovered not only a freedom for himself as an artist but also a kind of beauty that existed behind all the beauty of the performance and in the struggle of his subjects to become something.

 WHEN: 26 Mar — 24 Jul 2016 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York

Not to be missed if you’re in New York City

Sourcephotography by Ken Browar & Deborah Ory of the NYC Dance Project.


Art/Culture – Art Basel with Feelings on the side

It’s one of the human world’s most colourful, modern day, micro-migrations.


In the first week of December of every year, the art world descends on Miami Beach for ART BASEL Miami Beach and the dizzying range of young, wannabe rival fairs that have sprouted up in its shadow. From discreet European billionaires looking out of place amidst the Latino bling, to desperate crowds trying to force entry into exclusive art parties, to the variety of art installations and performances dotted along the ocean front, the spectacle of the art world temporarily grafted onto the hot mess that is Miami Beach is truly something to behold.artbasel1Buried underneath all that wealth, naked ambition and partying, is the thing-in-itself – the art. Dazed previews the best new art that’s being shown at the best fairs – NADA at The Fontainebleau hotel and Untitled, operating from a vast tent-cum-hanger right on the beach as well as Art Basel Miami Beach itself.

Feeling Moody?

Maybe one of the most interesting art installations to land in New York recently is the Museum of Feelings.feelings2

A first of its kind installation combining innovative technology, scent and art to generate an unforgettable and emotional experience, controlled by feelings from around the world. Crazy, right? And completely amazing…

The mysterious façade of the museum allows audience members to embark on a sensory journey through five distinctive zones that explore the connection between art and emotion in unassuming and surprising ways. Meanwhile, the museums radiant exterior, linked to various social network sites, simultaneously extracts data from news and weather reports, stock exchange and even flight delays and incorporates the various information into feelings, ultimately depicted by a hue of interchangeable colors. Kind of like a giant and interactive mood ring.feelings1

The Museum Of Feelings, nestled in lower manhattans Brookfield Place (near Battery Park City) will be free and open to the public until the 15th of December.

Source: &


Art/Culture/Conservation – SUBMERGED in Art

Have you heard about The Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), located off the coast of Isla Mujeres in Mexico’s Maya Riviera?

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor
Taylor’s “SILENT EVOLUTION “is composed of 450 statues, making it the largest work in the exhibit.  Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor

It’s the world’s largest underwater museum.

It looks like a pretty cool place. And, being underwater it has to be cool.  I want to dive right in.  

Composed of over 500 life-sized sculptures, MUSA offers incredible displays hidden 28 feet below the ocean’s surface. That means that the only way it can be explored is by diving or snorkeling.  For me, having already been to Isla Mujeres, and since becoming an advanced certified scuba diver it would be an adventurous outing.

Photo: Jason deCares Taylor
One of the statues in “THE BANKER” series.   Photo: Jason deCares Taylor

The project began in 2009 as an effort to protect the endangered Mesoamerican Reef (the second-largest barrier reef in the world) by diverting divers and snorkelers to MUSA.

Roberto Díaz Abraham, one of the founders of the museum, describes it as an “art of conservation.” Each sculpture holds special nooks and crannies that help to support the breeding of marine life while providing a safe habitat.

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor
THE EAR” sculpture    Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor

Six artists helped to compose the works found in MUSA: Jason deCaires Taylor, who is also a co-founder of the museum, Roberto Díaz AbrahamSalvador Quiroz EnnisRodrigo Quiñones ReyesKaren Salinas Martínez and Enrique Mireles, but a large portion of the works are by Taylor.

Taylor models his sculptures after local residents from his nearby fishing town of Puerto Morelos and covers them with a marine-grade cement consisting of a PH-neutral surface that promotes coral growth. He allows the plaster to dry before removing it and filling in the remainder of the sculptures.

Since they’re made with this marine-grade cement, the statues have become covered in algae and coral to make for a stunning sight.

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor
Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor

Some of Taylor’s works are a satirical commentary on humanity. He created “The Banker,” a series of men in business suits submerging their heads in sand, after attending a climate-change conference in Cancun.

“It represents the loud acknowledgment made about the issue, but when it comes to taking action nobody wants to stick their neck out and do something about it,” Taylor said about the work.

Some of his works symbolize the growth of new life. “The Resurrection” was created using coral fans that had broken off during a thunderstorm in Cancun.

The Resurrection.  Photo: Aquaworld
The Resurrection.  Photo: Aquaworld

You’ll also find statues of people you might recognize. “The Anchors” is molded from the heads of “Today” show anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Natalie Morales, and NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders.

But what’s most fascinating is that each of his works is built to aid in the protection and understanding of marine life. “The Ear” is a work installed with a hydrophone and hard drive. It allows researchers to study marine life via audio.

“Anthropocene,” or the Volkswagen, is made specifically for lobsters. Taylor created the piece after fisherman wiped out about 50 lobsters previously living in his “Silent Evolution” display. The car has holes to allow the shellfish to enter the sculpture, and inside it is stacked with shelving units where the creatures like to sleep.

MUSA offers an exploration into a world that’s remained a mystery.

“Two-thirds of our world is water, but there’s so much in that incredible world that’s still unknown,” said Taylor.

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor
“The Silent Evolution” exhibit before being submerged underwater. Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor

There are two different exhibits within the museum: Salon Manchones, which holds 475 sculptures and is 8m (27 ft.) deep and Punta Nizuc, which offers a shallow snorkeling area about 4m (13 ft.) deep and a semi-submersible boat as an alternative to diving.

MUSA is open year-round for public viewing; however, because the diving site is protected as a conservation area, you’ll need to sign up with one of the museum’s selected tour guides to access the site. Tickets cost about $60 for a two-hour tour.

If you can’t make it there in person, here’s some footage to mentally transport you to the stunning sight.