I was commissioned to work on the watch user manual with the goal
of exploring the scuba lifestyle visually. I really latched onto the brand's
philosophy of exploration, discovery and the interconnecting nature of life.
I immersed myself in the idea of scuba, the archetypes and iconography
of the sport, the history and the lifestyle. I tried, through utilization of a
range of media, and by mixing said media digitally, to paint an
interconnected, yet eclectic presentation of Scuba and the underlying
philosophy of the Helix brand.
The commission led me on a veritable quest of my own, up and down
the coast, From Bar Harbor, Maine to North Carolina’s outer banks, seeking
the imagery and visual vernacular of Scuba. I visited a number of
aquariums and nautical museums. Hitched rides on Scuba boats, and read
numerous books on scuba, whose descriptions ranged from the
state-of-the-art to the now obsolete. I tried through my art, to exemplify the
fun and at times campy nature of the sport of scuba, while expressing my
admiration for the ideas inherent to the act of diving.
I found inspiration in the imagry and artistic ideology of the mid-twentieth
century, the time of Scuba’s genesis. Cousteau, James Bond, Seahunt and
the like. The design and style of these works always had a strong,
straight-from-the-crayon-box color pallet, which was only more intensified
by the intensity of color inherent to printing, photographic technology and
video technology of the era. I tried to pay homage to the visual sensibilities
of the period, while linking it to current visual ideas and technologies.
With each work I started from scratch, using acrylic paints, a petax manual
film camera, clay, and the like, and then I altered the images digitally.
In a way, each image is a digital collage, and each image represents a
merging of tactile manual art and technogically assisted realization of a
completed work. I think this works well with the philosophy of Helix in its
attempt to merge the history of scuba with its future.