SANIBEL ISLAND, F – Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mohawk, was sunk off the coast of Fort Meyers Florida, near Sanibel Island. The vessel, steeped in history, was the last to radio Eisenhower, giving the ‘all clear’ before the Normandy invasion on D-Day. In retirement, and resting at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef, the ‘Mighty Mo’ is now home to sea life, divers and art.
Andreas Franke is the artist whose work is now 90 feet below the surface attached with magnets to the Mohawk says, “Diving and photography, this couldn’t be better.”
Franke’s pieces and show models, as they would have looked during the war years… superimposed over images of the cutter.
“My main job is to find the right place for each image,” says the artist. And like most artists he likes perfection. “He stood back, leveled them, made sure they were perfect, gave us a thumbs up and said let’s go to the next one” says a diver helping to hang the artwork.
“For me it’s a stage and I bring life back to the shipwreck,” says Franke whose work will be submerged until October when it will resurface at a Fort Meyers museum, likely looking a bit different thanks to sea life. That’s okay with Franke, “I love what the sea is doing to the pictures.”
This is definitely a cool mix of art and history.