Jason deCaires Taylor
June 30, 2012
through July 28, 2012
NEW YORK, NY (May 30, 2012) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Human Nature, a series of works by Jason deCaires Taylor in what will be his debut solo gallery exhibition. Human Nature will feature photography, sculpture and a video documenting the artist’s process and the evolution of his works.
Taylor was born in Great Britain in 1974 to a British father and Guyanese mother. Much of his childhood was spent on the coral reefs of Malaysia, cultivating a profound love of the sea and fascination with nature. Working as a scuba diving instructor in various parts of the world, he developed a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography. In his teens, experimenting with graffiti fired the artist’s interest in the relationship between art and the environment, fostering an ambition to produce art in public spaces.
Over the past several years, Taylor has created a large body of installations in aquatic environments. These ambitious public projects combine his unique range of logistical experience, artistic talent, scuba diving skill and marine life interest. Casting cement into full-scale figures and objects, the artist infuses his eco-sculptures with specialized pH neutral materials to encourage the formation of artificial reefs. The installations have a conservational aspect, drawing tourists away from natural reef formations thereby helping to replenish this endangered natural resource.
For this exhibition, the artist selected photographs of some of his major public projects. While some works were photographed as soon as they were submerged, others feature various stages of coral and algae growth that has occurred over a period of time. The resulting photography (much like the experience of viewing in person) evokes a sense of discovering forgotten civilizations, and surreal narratives of lost, sunken worlds.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jason DeCaires Taylor was born in Great Britain in 1974 and is currently based in Mexico. In 1997, Taylor earned a BA in Sculpture and Ceramics from Camberwell College of Art, in London. He learned traditional stone carving techniques at Canterbury Cathedral, and worked in the field of concert set design, producing projects on a grand scale. In 2006, Taylor created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies, which consists of over 65 individual works and covers an area of 2,624 square feet (800 square meters), included among the top 25 wonders of the world by National Geographic. In 2010, Taylor founded the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MuSA), located in Cancún, Mexico, where he created and installed over 450 life-size figurative works under water, which occupy an area of 1,640 square feet (500 square meters) and weigh over 200 tons, collectively. The artist has received a tremendous amount of press including National Geographic, Vogue, CNN, BBC and Discovery Channel. One of Taylor’s images, titled Lost Correspondent was featured as the cover art for Ukelele Songs, a solo album from Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, released in 2011. A monograph of the artist’s work will be published by Chronicle Books in the Spring of 2014.