Tauba Auerbach Coats Historic New York Fireboat in a Dazzling Marble Pattern
“Dazzle is not about hiding, it’s about surprising,” Tauba Auerbach states. Why is a 37-year-old Brooklyn artist talking about a World War I camouflage technique? Because her latest canvas is the John J. Harvey fireboat, which served the FDNY from 1931 to 1994 but came out of retirement on September 11, 2001. Now an operational museum, the Public Art Fund and 14-18 Now, a cultural program focused on marking the WWI centenary on November 11, commissioned Auerbach to transform the vessel into an artwork inspired by the period between 1914 and 1918. Her resulting Flow Separation incorporates two patterns generated through the process of marbling paper, its appearance simulating the motion of liquid called fluid dynamics, and then painted in JJH’s original red-and-white palette. It’s afloat at piers along Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park through May 12, 2019.