By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: August 13, 2012
CANCÚN, Mexico — Most people head off to an art exhibit with comfortable shoes and a deep appreciation for creativity. Jason deCaires Taylor’s work requires flippers and, to really appreciate it, a depth of at least 12 feet.
The sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
The New York Times
The Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system, is near Cancún. Officials are working to protect it.
Mr. Taylor labors over his sculptures for weeks, five-ton concrete figures of men, women and children, many of them modeled after people in the fishing village near here where he lives and works. The little boy Carlito sitting on a rock. The proud Joaquín glancing skyward. The old man everyone knows as Charlie Brown clasping his chin in contemplation.
In a stifling warehouse filled with bodies — ceramic replicas and false starts — he fusses over their lips and noses. Gets the hair just right. Adjusts their clothing.
Then he sinks them in the sea.
There, they rest in ghostly repose in the Museo Subacuático de Arte here, serving at once as a tourist attraction and as a conservation effort by drawing divers and snorkelers away from the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, and toward this somewhat macabre, artificial one.
For more, read here.