is the exterior of a building not just a building?
it becomes it's own art gallery.
Mystic Marinelife Aquarium
became a venue for artist Kovel. Hanging on the west
wall five huge sculptures adorned the building: fish
swam across the 200 foot façade.
In July 1998 four additional
gigantic fish head sculptures were hung along the roof
line on the aquarium's south wall. The sculptures were
meant "to provide a visual way of speaking about
such ecological problems as ocean pollution, over fishing
and the dynamiting of reefs. They give the fish a voice."
In October 1998 an additional
62 foot fish was mounted on the north wall facing Interstate
Route 95 to swim with the other fish. While these huge
colorful fish did attract attention to the aquarium,
one must remember that the ocean really does contain
creatures of this size. Man is still discovering life
of the great ocean depths. Mysterious life forms range
in the darkest deep and in the vents of underwater
volcanoes. It's an intriguing world man knows relatively
little about. "I hope my fish will do more than
attract attention. I hope they will inspire an interest
and an awareness for a reimaginative, reinventive,
recreation of the world. I hope to engender a love
and stewardship for the ocean that is so much at risk
today. If just a few of the passengers in those cars
are challenged by what they see, or begin to look at
the ocean in a new way, I will have succeeded."
Kovel is one of the few
artists who have had an opportunity to attract the
attention of over fifty thousand passing motorists
on a daily basis. "I want to bring the beauty
of the ocean to those who cannot always experience
it. Public art should be more than a decorative. Public
art is vitally important because it can create an artistic
presence in an unexpected place and time.
The viewer becomes a participant
and the public space becomes the vehicle for imaginative
and re-inventive re-creation of the world.
a photo diary of the installation process