fireboat

Art, DUMBO, Events, History, Manhattan

Dazzle Ship, World War I, NY Harbor, Tauba Auerbach, Public Art Fund

Photo by Nicholas Knight

Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, local artist Tauba Auerbach has transformed a historic fireboat into a modern “dazzle” ship. First invented by British painter Norman Wilkinson during WWI, dazzle camouflage patterns were painted onto ships to distort their forms and confuse enemy submarines. The Public Art Fund and 14-18 NOW, a U.K.-based art program, commisioned the painting of the John J. Harvey fireboat, which first launched in 1931 and helped the FDNY extinguish fires until it retired in the 1990s.

“With Flow Separation, I didn’t want to ignore the John J. Harvey’s identity, so I took the boat’s usual paint job and scrambled it. Dragged a comb through it,” Auerbach said. “The palette also exaggerates the fact that ‘dazzle’  was more about confusing and outsmarting, than about hiding.”

Get the dazzling details

Quirky Homes

City Auctioning Off a 62-Year-Old Fireboat for Just $510

By Dana Schulz, Mon, February 22, 2016

NYC fireboat auction, John McKean, FDNY boat, houseboats,

If the houseboat lifestyle piques your fancy, this may be your big chance to live life on the open seas right here in NYC, as the city is auctioning off a 62-year-old fireboat. Though the initial asking price was $510, there have surprisingly been 17 bids since Wednesday, putting the current highest price at $3,050. Keep in mind, as Gothamist points out, that although this seems like a steal, it will likely cost thousands more a month to dock the 129-foot boat, on top of maintenance and transportation costs (it’s being sold “AS IS” and “WHERE IS”). Some of the “amenities” you’ll get include water cannons (it’s not known if they actually work, but they certainly still look cool), a lookout tower (binoculars not included), and co-living style bunkbeds.

The whole deal

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