jason decaires taylor submerges underwater museum off the coast of lanzarote, spain
all images courtesy of jason decaires taylor




the first set of sculptures has been installed in museo atlantico — the first underwater contemporary art museum in europe and the atlantic ocean. 14 meters beneath the clear blue waters off the coast of lanzarote, artist jason decaires taylor has fixed a series of sculptural installations to the ocean floor. alongside a collection of figurative works that depict poignant global matters, the underwater gallery also comprises a sunken botanical garden, which responds to the region’s long standing relationship with art and nature. beginning on february 25, 2016, the museum will be open to snorkelers and divers.

‘the rubicon’ features a collection of 35 figures that walk towards a gate




spanning the seabed, the main installation features an assembly of 35 figures walking towards a gate — a point of no return, or a portal to another world. the sea of people that make up ‘the rubicon’ are meticulously sculpted and carefully carved with hyper-realistic anatomical features, appearing as lifelike human relics suddenly frozen in time. 

the main installation spans the seabed




a second installation titled ‘the raft of lampedusa’ depicts a haunting representation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis, with a boat of figures desperately waiting for treatment and aid. decaires taylor references french painter théodore géricault’s work, ‘the raft of the medusa’, drawing parallels between the abandonment suffered by sailors in his shipwreck scene and the current refugee crisis. ‘the work is not intended as a tribute or memorial to the many lives lost, but as a stark reminder of the collective responsibility of our now global community,’ the artist says. 

realistic human details and carefully carved clothing make the figures appear as if they have been frozen in time




additionally, the project is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef for local fish species, increase marine biomass while, and raise awareness to current threats facing the world’s oceans. 

two figures embrace as they ‘walk’ towards the gate 

a diver passes nearby ‘the raft of lampedusa’ 

the sculptural figures desperately wait for treatment and aid

the underwater sculpture depicts a haunting representation of the ongoing refugee crisis

the boat of people references french painter théodore géricault’s work, ‘the raft of the medusa’

a figure seated on the edge of the raft stares out at the surrounding ocean abyss 

‘the photographers’ take pictures of their surroundings 

‘hybrid’ incorporates plant life into the figurative sculpture 

the project creates a large scale artificial reef to aggregate local fish species