Razzle Dazzle Boot

4. August 2020

The blurring fusion: Austrian contemporary artist Sabine Wiedenhofer creates Razzle-Dazzle Boat for the Frauscher shipyard.

It is not surprising that Sabine Wiedenhofer turns a motorboat, the design icon Frauscher 747 Mirage, into a piece of art. Someone who has already made love symbols out of Pistol Bullets, from Murano glass New York’s Tribeca made of hundreds of cubes, will not be limited by shapes, colours or materials even in 2020 and so Sabine Wiedenhofer is the first artist (after Jeff Koons Megayacht for Dakis Joannou) to finish the outer shell of the 747 Mirage, a breathtaking boat from Frauscher – an internationally top-rated Austrian shipyard based in Ohlsdorf, Upper Austria.

Sabine Wiedenhofer creates the blurred fusion of the Frauscher 747 Mirage with its surroundings through the material she has chosen (coloured Mirror Vinyl Wraps), as well as through the size and arrangement of the typical cube shapes, which adapt to the perfect line of the boat and the hydrodynamics of the sophisticated stepped hull. The naturally generated reflections are used to create a visual form of the speed of light, a kind of flash light on the water. When sailing slowly, the absorption of the light causes the boat to merge with its surroundings.

An effect that was deliberately created for camouflage purposes a little more than 100 years ago, on warships during the First World War, and aimed for visual irritation. Inspired by cubism, over 4,000 warships, so-called Razzle Dazzle Boats, were painted mainly by women. This painting, in combination with light, water, waves and reflections, created visual disturbances that effectively masked the warships of yesteryear. Sabine Wiedenhofer now replicates this camouflage intention, transports the theme into the present and turns a once vital necessity into a harmony of the senses and nature.

Wiedenhofer uses – similar to her Cube work – again clear lines and forms, which however become blurred by the influences of light, water and speed. The combination of sun, water, sky, clouds and waves turns the boat into a permanently changing jewel of maritime art.

Sabine Wiedenhofer: “Art cannot take place absorbed by its surroundings. As with the Merkenstein church windows, my glass city TriBeCa or my Bullets works, I play with electromagnetic waves in order to visually represent the total reflection. Every time has its art. Art knows no crisis. Art always finds its way. Whether in the form of pictures, sculptures or even boats. It needs its place in our world. I am very pleased that Frauscher has asked me to use this boat to tell a new, multidimensional story.”

Florian Helmberger, Frauscher shipyard sales director: “A very special design was created for the Frauscher 747 Mirage. The highly developed stepped hull allows fast gliding at any speed. The optical effect created by Sabine Wiedenhofer now makes this boat a unique work of art that will look different every day, in every light and at every speed”.

Sabine Wiedenhofer’s Razzle Dazzle Boat will be presented to the public for the first time between 5 and 9 August 2020 at Salzburg Airport, Amadeus Terminal 2 at the SIAF 2020, the Salzburg International Art Fair. Further works by Wiedenhofer can be seen at the exhibition stand (Nos. 32 and 33) of Galerie Kovacek Spiegelgasse. Gallery owner Sylvia Kovacek discovered the artist in 2012 and was able to record great success at numerous art fairs and solo presentations right from the start: one highlight was undoubtedly the invitation to the Venice Biennale, where Sabine Wiedenhofer and gallery owner Sylvia Kovacek were able to present the impressive Murano glass sculpture TriBeCa – a major work consisting of 168 glass cubes.