Art Love: Underwater!

Jason deCaires Taylor's Silent Evolution. Image from musacancun.org

Jason deCaires Taylor’s Silent Evolution. Image from musacancun.org

We caught sight of images from Cancun’s Underwater Art Museum (MUSA) in an issue of Coastal Living magazine. Ever since, we’ve been chomping at the bit to pay a visit to this breathtaking museum on the ocean floor.

Karen Salinas Martinez's Paisajes Marinos Vivos. Image from musacancun.org

Karen Salinas Martinez’s Paisajes Marinos Vivos. Image from musacancun.org

MUSA was founded in 2009 in Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc by Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park, Roberto Díaz Abraham, then President of the Cancun Nautical Association and English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor (that’s his work, Silent Evolution, the first photo pictured).

Jason deCaires Taylor's The Last Supper. Image from musacancun.org

Jason deCaires Taylor’s The Last Supper. Image from musacancun.org

There are over 500 permanent life-size sculptures featured at MUSA, including nine, new additions:

Created by Elier Amado Gil:

  • El Entendimiento (Understanding) – Composed of six figures gathered around a large stone symbolizing Cancun, this piece showcases the human ability of understanding, allowing us to form concepts, judgments and morals.
  • Sin Titulo (No Title) – This piece focuses on a narrative that is transparent and gestural, with a clear intent to mimic the public. According to the artist, this piece reflects “an act of selfdestruction and its objective is to call for relection, analysis and self-criticism.”
  • Reposo (Rest) – Promotes a process of reflection that is encouraged to deal with silence, introspection and meditation. The closed eyes of this piece represents physical rest that activates the mind and leads a person to a state of enlightenment.
  • Umbral (Threshold) – Symbolizes mankinds evolution on the thinking process and on the human footprint we leave on earth.
  • Rompehielos (Ice Breaker) – Represents the revolutionary human beings that have overcome adversity and daunting challenges and ‘broken’ them in half.
  • Los Falsos Idolos (False Idols) – This piece was designed as a form of selfassessment and reflection, and was inspired by one of Jeff Koon’s most popular works, Rabbit, due to its impact in questioning normative values in contemporary art.
    • Bendiciones (Blessings) – Composed of six hands symbolizing the days it took God to create mankind. The hands are positioned in the same way Catholic priests bless their followers.
Roberto Diaz Abraham's sculpture image from http://musacancun.org

Roberto Diaz Abraham’s sculpture image from http://musacancun.org

Created by Roberto Diaz Abraham:

  • Diego – Representing the relationship between the innocence and purity of childhood, this piece was named and modeled after the artist’s first grandson. This piece is made of clay and cast in special stainless steel and concrete to withstand ocean currents.

Created by Colleen Flanigan:

  • Zoe – This 15-foot-by-9-foot-by-6-foot curved steel sculpture was inspired by the DNA double helix.

Here’s a bit more info about MUSA:

“Since 2010, sculptures have been submerged to the bottom of the ocean in two phases by the resident artist at that time, Jason deCaires Taylor. Marine life has slowly moved into the museum area, bringing life to “The Silent Evolution” – the name of the first phase of sculptures to make up the exhibition. With everything from life-size human sculptures, many of which were caste from Cancun locals, to a lifesize VW Beetle that was especially designed to encourage lobsters to make their homes inside the vehicle, each statue is made with materials that are safe for marine life and encourage the formation of artificial reefs.

Since its beginning, the Cancun Underwater Museum was created to facilitate the self-preservation of natural coral reefs in optimal conditions. With this goal, the National Marine Park took the challenge of redirecting tourists from fragile natural habitats to this exhibition of more than 500 magnificent sculptures that come to life in the depths of the sea.”

To learn more about MUSA visit http://musacancun.org.

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