The Quin in New York City has been converted into a veritable homage to the element of water this past week. Featuring a carefully curated exhibition of seven extraordinary—not to mention extraordinarily different—international artists, The Art Of The Sea is a multimedia experiment in interpretation, from silk prints of glittering water by Ruvan Wijesooriya to Dan Balility’s HD screens of moving water droplets.
“This exhibition has long been in the works,” explains Nicole Ianniello, one half of the industry-renown curatorial duo behind this exhibition. “The ocean is my happy place and my safe place. There is nowhere where I am more calm and I’m fascinated by how these artists have also been inspired by it.”
The element seems to have represented something significant for every artist on display—a significance that transpires into the works. “I’ve been working with the Surfrider Foundation for a while now,” says surfer-artist Adam Guy, referring to the NGO with whom The Art Of The Sea exhibition has partnered up with. Indeed, the photographer’s birds-eye image of surfer ritual—known as The Eddie—in Hawaii served as almost religious in reverence and clearly reflects his ties to the ocean: “The foundation does a lot of important work in raising awareness of how crucial the oceans are to our ecosystems but it’s also hands-on when it comes to cleaning the shores. I’m very glad that they’re here today.”
Interestingly, there are also those on the other side of the spectrum: “Water actually petrifies me,” laughs Balility as he elaborates on his choice of photographic subject: a refrigerator stranded on a beautiful shore. “As a person—not just as an artist, but as a person—I constantly try to push myself to the edge, to explore what beautiful things happen when one is in a state of discomfort. The fridge represents the place where I am most comfortable, my home, and I’ve tried to mix the two worlds together.”
The mere fact that this exhibition is taking place in a hotel is also an interesting exploration of unexpected space-mixing for co-curator DK Johnston. “Why not have art at a hotel? Why not make art accessible and shareable?” Why not, indeed.