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Jason De Caires

12.16.08   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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de-caires-1.jpg

Under most circumstances, nature will destroy anything man made over time. But Mexican artist Jason De Caires creates beautiful underwater sculptural pieces which are strengthened by the coral, algae, and marine life that grow on them.
These pieces are created on land, transported by boat, and carefully submerged into shallow areas of water that can be viewed by snorkeling. Larger works (like the one shown above) are made in pieces and are bolted to the ocean floor.
We caught a very interesting interview with De Caires at Don’t Panic, and if you like these pics as much as we do it’s definitely worth a read.

de-caires-2.jpg

69 Responses to “Jason De Caires”

  1. Kendra Says:

    This is one of the most intriguing, beautiful, haunting, and original works I’ve seen in a long time. I love it.

  2. Wanda K Says:

    that is maddness would love to see them,that`s crazy.

  3. Melissa Says:

    Can you just imagine, if you didn’t know they were there, and then went snorkeling in the area?
    This is amazing but I’m sure its scared more than one person.

  4. Cynthia Says:

    This is awesome, the artist is creating future wonders. One day when we have forgotten about them and passed on they will be rediscovered and they will wonder why they are there. He is creating a modern Stonehenge.

  5. Lou Dallara Says:

    I sure the sharks love the visitors.. lol

    kool work !!

  6. Lost Says:

    amazing but I’m sure its scared,too

  7. Firespell Says:

    Wanda K: THIS IS SPARTA!!!!

  8. alexa Says:

    he is not mexican…!
    i wish he would! :P

  9. alexa Says:

    were..not would jajaja (or whatever..) sorry… i am mexican…soooo disculpen mi ingles..

  10. Matt Spire Says:

    Indeed, this is a truly evolving piece of art and a bit of brilliance on his part. The close-up on the face is very cool.

  11. Mary Says:

    It’s very asthetically pleasing, but I hate the idea of putting anything (even art) into the ocean that doesn’t need to be there. I think it’s more beautiful without our interference.

  12. Matt Spire Says:

    Mary:

    I’ve thought about your point, and I agree in principle. On the other hand, I see a sort of beauty in the (theoretically) non-disruptive involvement of nature in artwork. So long as the habitat is not being too manipulated and such art is not commonplace, it may show a sort of respect for nature to collaborate with it, if you will. Determining what makes people take certain attitudes is difficult–conceivably, the idea of harmonious collaboration with nature could be a platform for changing many views on, say, drilling on the ocean floor, etc.

  13. Mary Says:

    Matt,

    Thank you for putting that in a new light! I appreciate this piece a lot more after reading your comment!

  14. Private Investigator Says:

    Wow, I hate artisits sometimes. It just seems effortless to them. Los Angeles is full of artists with that kind of capability.

  15. Ragdoll Says:

    The comment about “harmonious collaboration with nature” was well spoken. I very much agree. We’re meant to work with nature not against it and this is just combining our perception of beauty with nature’s.

  16. BJ Says:

    Keep in mind it is anchors such as those that can become the beginnings of a coral reef. :P

  17. sisyphus Says:

    I have met this artist while living in Grenada, which is where this artwork is located. He is not mexican, as was commented on previously. There are quite a few other sculptures there…which can be seen at http://www.underwatersculpture.com.

    While diving in Grenada…dive with Dive Grenada!

  18. sisyphus Says:

    oops…fixed link

    http://www.underwatersculpture.com/pages/gallery/underwater-gallery/index.htm

  19. Brandon St. Germaine Says:

    Imagine what they’ll say in 2000 years when they find it?

    “We believe this was an ancient burial ground of the 26 maidens of De Caires.”

  20. Mary Says:

    I’m sad to see he has entire sculpture parks! I was happy accepting it as a rare peice collaborating with nature. I still think these places would be more beautiful without concrete humans and tables and plates in them.
    And coral reefs are endangered because of too much sediment in the water, not because they are lacking roots to grow on. So he’s not really promoting coral reef recovery. Especially his peice in Crete, which is almost too far north for coral reef to even grow.
    It seems egotistical to think that our idea of beauty and art belongs everywhere and can enhance nature’s beauty.

  21. addy Says:

    ah! i would love to sit in the middle as if meditating without gear of course and have someone take a pic of me with these wonderful creations.
    truly amazing! this is going on my to do list.

  22. Ragdoll Says:

    Mary, I actually completely understand what you’re saying. We as people always think we’re entitled to be better than nature or try to improve it. Thats great that you think that way because there are way to many people that do not. I, for some reason, at the same time cannot help but get this romantic idea out of my head that his collaboration with nature all over the world is still beautiful. I dont know, maybe it is in many aspects environmentally “wrong” or egotistical. But something about it still just strikes me as us trying to work with nature since its part of us and we are part of it.

    Just thoughts though. To each their own, eh? :)

    P.S. (My name is Mary too)

  23. collin Says:

    The fish that see this are going to need therapists. Does anyone know the effects on underwater ecology under post traumatic stress disorder, lol. Pretty creepy thing goin on there, I love it though.

  24. moby dick Says:

    sick stuff

  25. donttazemebro Says:

    i would fuck these things up with a baseball bat. i hate stupid motherfuckers who litter in the ocean. what a bitch.

  26. sir jorge Says:

    that reminds me of that movie cabin by the lake, with judd nelson.

  27. Mary Says:

    donttazemebro:

    Hahaha! Thank you!

  28. kelfaerie Says:

    Mary, shush.
    i am an environmentalist and an artist.
    there are no obvious negative effects on the environment around the pieces, unless he used a particularly harmful material to make it. it doesn’t pollute, hurt the creatures in the sea, or get in their way. if it has been found to harm them, it should be removed (and placed in an art gallery, as it has been made all the more intresting by the effects of the sea on it).
    I think its intresting.

  29. Porn King Says:

    Found your blog just now– very cool!

  30. Enzo Says:

    On quite a few occasions, old ships and boats have been deliberately sunk to form the base of a reef. While im not to keen on that idea, I think that if it is done in a way that doesnt harm the wildlife then it cant be a bad thing. Perhaps its the least we can do after years of destruction caused by boats, fishing and holiday makers to the wildlife that was already here before we were on the scene. While i understand and have enjoyed reading everyones views on the subject, i personaly like it. Both as a piece of art and the possible beginings of life for the animals.

  31. Mary Kate Says:

    beeeeeuuuutiful

  32. Mary Says:

    Kelfaerie, it’s hardly appropriate to tell someone to shush. I haven’t been disrespectful of anyone’s opinions.

    Anyway, I agree that it’s interesting and I’ve already stated that I think it’s pretty. The main point I’ve been trying to make is that, although it is pretty, I think it takes away from the ocean’s natural beauty. I’m an advocate of Leave No Trace and tread gently. One of the things that makes the ocean so beautiful is that it’s an entire ecosystem that thrives on life competely different from ourselves. I think it’s a natural but negative human impulse to leave our mark everywhere we go.

    I doubt very much that it is harmful to the environment around it. I also doubt that it is contributing to saving coral reef, as his website implies, as coral reef isn’t lacking places to grow. That was simply a counter argument.

  33. Enzo Says:

    Point well made Mary.
    Can i Just say that in the Philippines for example. 70% of the reefs have been destroyed and only 5% can be said to be in good health. the more i read this blog, the more im finding i dont like the piece but i stick with my view that perhaps being a piece of art will help to ensure the survival of the wildlife that over time will come to call it home. While the ocean is large, we have to take into account the criteria needed for a reef to form and while these are over time affected by humans both in the water and on land then if placing something there to help in the long run ( which has been proven to work) then surely that is not so bad. I agree that we should not interfere but perhaps we have messed things up so much now that we have no choice but to step in and try and make up for our downfalls before there is nothing left to save.

    Can i just ask. If we were to do something similar as an attempt to save what is there and encourage future growth but it was not done under the guise of a piece of art. Would it seem so bad then?

  34. Mary Says:

    Good point, Enzo. It was silly of me to even bring coral reef into my argument against the piece — in the long run it is a positive contribution to regrowth. I have really been going back and forth on the sculpture. I feel like it is sometimes admirable and sometimes disgusting.

    I really appreciate that it has sparked so much conversation.

  35. Grant Says:

    Destined to become like the Easter Island heads? Imagine a century or two from now if there were no records what people would think and wonder about this sculpture.

    I love this piece – absolutely wonderful.

  36. musabolat Says:

    merhaba iyi güzel tamam

  37. chuckiesd Says:

    It is realy fantastic. So creative and beautiful.

  38. Blacky Balfroa Says:

    TEAM MARY!!

    I think this work of art is amazing, but I don’t think it should be left there forever. The idea that future people are gonna find it and think it’s cool is kind of lame. I think it’d be better if we left the ocean alone. Let it sit there for a while and then put it in a museum.

  39. Grant Says:

    Do you mean lame like how we find cave paintings around the world from long dead civilizations? Or do you mean lame like how we find shipwrecks, art, gold, pots, statues etc at the bottom of the sea?

  40. Pepper Says:

    I think this is very intriuging. Can you imagine our world ending and the next beginning and some being comes along and tries to find out why these people turned to stone and what story they have to tell… Hey, it could happen.

  41. Pelapapas Says:

    Fantastic, thanks you for the pics

  42. dree Says:

    interesting piece. You could interpret as a commentary on human nature. Humans are constantly trying to “leave their mark” on the world, striving for perfection and beauty, and ultimately imposing on nature. But in the end nature fights back and overtakes human will, creating something more beautiful and completely different from what the humans intentions where. Very interesting.

  43. Jai Says:

    Believe me , Only such people will allow our far future generations to let them know that we were there
    just as we discover ancient cities n sculptures,
    This is STUPENDOUS.

  44. B-Dawg Says:

    Am I the only one that sees Will Turner in that pic?

  45. Andrew Says:

    That is amazing! I love it…

  46. Repost from old blog…beautiful! « Noticeofcancellation Says:

    [...] from here [...]

  47. Threeve to Eleventy « The Display Name Says:

    [...] 1. This is so cool. [...]

  48. Visit Sarasota Says:

    Very Eerie…

  49. Various Links « Says:

    [...] De Caires creative underwater sculptural pieces. These are [...]

  50. Mel Says:

    WOW! It evokes so many feelings, all of them good. What a wonderfully unique & thought provoking piece of work. Would love to see it for real, a beautiful gift, from nature, to nature :) Love it.

  51. catchacheatpi Says:

    Strange but in a nice way, its art.

  52. Why Says:

    Do we have to leave a human mark EVERWHERE we go??

  53. conor Says:

    i wonder if a future generation will notice the bonds that secure the figures to each other and think that perhaps they are part of the artistic depiction of humanity… expressing not unity in freedom but unity in bondage… impossible to know but equally probable as the notion that the artist’s intent will be realized by someone who has no idea of why it was necessary to use handcuffs to secure figures to a fixed position underwater (when perhaps there are more aesthetically unobtrusive ways of achieving that effect in his/her day and age)

  54. Itsashirt T shirts Says:

    The statue looks great, shame little people will see it for real…

  55. becky Says:

    Mary and others: I understand where you are coming from, but I’m a little confused on one point. As human beings, we tend to assume that we are better than the other parts of nature around us. We are mentally divorced from our own animal natures. We tend to think that we can hurt “nature” without hurting ourselves. This is because we see ourselves as separate from nature. If we opened our eyes and recognized that we are a part of nature, no greater than any other part, we would not have this egotistical view.

    That being said, this does not mean that human beings do not have the ability to contribute beauty to nature. Human art is not “artificial” or “unnatural.” It is a natural aspect of human existence. If we are to accept, as I said above, that humans are equal members of the community of nature, then we must also accept that our human art is part of that natural communal beauty. The ocean is a part of our lives, and we have just as much a right to leave our mark on it as do the fish and dolphins and whales; we share it. As long as we are not disturbing or harming the life on the ocean floor, what problem is there with our putting our marks of loving expression in their midst? Are we not, at least, equal partners with animals in this world?

    I think the tendency of environmentalists is to think of humans as intruders in an otherwise “natural” world: a kind of apologetic self-loathing. In fact, we are a part of that nature, and most everything we do is “natural.” Being of higher cognition, we should always be wary of how our behavior could be harming our environment, since we rely on it for survival. However, that does not mean we are not allowed to express ourselves in meaningful ways within the community of nature. A picture of nature without human beings is an incomplete one. Let us not, in the midst of our countless errors, forget that we are a part of the natural community of life.

  56. becky Says:

    So I guess my “confusion” was just a question:

    Are you saying that human beings have no place in nature? Because if so, it seems you are ideologically closer to the environmentally destructive humans than you think….

  57. moomoo Says:

    ooh, becky’s clever. someone’s been to university!

  58. Michelle Says:

    I wonder what an alien species would think, if they discovered this, years after the disappearance of humans? They might think we were amphibians! :P It is breathtaking. :)

  59. Dan @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Says:

    Yeah, beautiful. But I’ve fucking stumbled it like a gazillion times already. Sucks

  60. Willard Maxham Says:

    Good luck everybody! – I will come back again. Are you on facebook or twitter? Will like to follow you.

  61. Evolucion Silenciosa- Jason De Caires Taylor | Neu Black Says:

    [...] for reef based tourism and conservation, the Cancun Marine Park partnered with British sculptor Jason De Caires Taylor to create the first underwater sculpture museum. As the co-founder and Artistic Director of the [...]

  62. Sarah Riddle Says:

    I love the work that Jason De Caires produces. It is so unique and they are al so special! He definatly inspires me with some of my own pantings! WELL DONE :) and thanks
    from sarah, mary, hannah and ryan xoxo

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  64. Kevin Says:

    Last pic……………………WE ARE THE BORG

  65. Abby Says:

    you should not post THAT!!!!!! that is nasty i am going to call the police!! do not do that ever again!!!

  66. erin Says:

    theae things are so beautiful! i would love to see one up close! :)

  67. Jason De Caires – An Underwater Spectacle | bananor Says:

    [...] This is amazing. Thanks to Neu Black for bringing this to our attention with its usual elegance.The ocean may be less explored by humans than outer space, but thanks to Jason De Caires’ dedication to viewable underwater art, this may change. Amazing. Jason De Caires has his own website, check it out. This entry was posted in This used to be a travel blog. by bananor. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  68. Andrew Says:

    Several people have commented to the effect “when people find it thousands of years form now what will they think?”. What WILL they think we were trying to say? Some people seem content that it be like a kind of Stonehenge or that they will make up their own story to explain it. I wish there was a deeper message but it seems to be all about process and materials. More ‘crafts’ than ‘arts’.

  69. Hintergrund Says:

    Great idea!!!

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