September 14, 2011 12:00 PM
by Sean Michael Ragan
As gimmicks go, this one from diver and photographer Andreas Franke is pretty smart: The novelty of an "underwater gallery" is likely to bring lots of attention to his work in the press (heck, it worked for me), and the situation of the exhibit itself pre-screens for clients who are wealthy enough, both in terms of free time and in terms of disposable income, to appreciate and buy expensive art. And it's a relatively safe bet that many who invest the time and energy to actually dive to the gallery will end up buying something, regardless of its artistic merit, if only so they can point at it on the wall later and say, "I bought that photo at an underwater gallery."
Or, it could very well be, Franke has done this solely out of an unselfish desire to create random beauty and delight in the world. In which case, Mr. Franke, please accept my sincere apologies.
In any case, the site of the exhibit is the wreck of the General Hoyt S. Vandenburg (Wikipedia), launched in 1943 and deliberately sunk in 2009 to form an artificial reef off Key West. It's about 100 feet down. [via Dude Craft]