What's In A Name?


Tuna Tangler...Prowler…Vortex…Blue Goose…Sea Hag 2 …Illusions…Oceania…Stargazer…Rampage…Thunderfish…Pipe Dream

The tradition of naming boats was established thousands of years ago as a measure to protect against danger, as boats were named in honor of and as an appeal to the gods by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; and later after saints by Christians. However, as evidenced in the small sample above from boats that I’ve photographed, the sources of inspiration for potential boat names have grown exponentially.

It didn’t initially occur to me to name my boat hull images after the boats they portray. However, when I first saw one of my early and favorite boats, the Tuna Tangler (the name readily visible as it was painted at the top of the bow as well as on the stern), I was hooked on the idea. It’s a name with an expressiveness befitting the image of its bow. I’ve also come to think of these images as abstract portraits, and so naming the image after the boat itself seems particularly appropriate.

Over time I’ve become increasingly focused on the names of the boats I photograph, but the interest extends beyond simply determining a title for the images. When I see a hull that has visual appeal, I begin to hope that the owner has given the boat a name deserving of its aesthetic strength. Similarly, once I see a particularly colorful or interesting boat name I start to wish for a hull worth photographing, so that I can preserve the name in image form. Inequities between the appeal of either the image or the name are inevitable, but unfortunate. There’s no disappointment with the image I’ve featured here, however - La Buena Vida. It’s a recent shot from Vermont, and it strikes a lovely balance.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to show several images from this series with Studio 26 Gallery at the Aqua Art Miami art fair during Art Basel Week in Miami, December 2nd – 6th . Aqua Art Miami is located at 1530 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, and Studio 26 will be in gallery room #220. Please let me know if you will be in Miami for the fairs - would love to see you there! Until then, I am posting a boat hull each day on Instagram, many of them new, as I count down to Miami. See them on Instagram @michele_dragonetti.

See you in Miami!

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