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Da Vinci Fish in Bombay Beach, CA

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Sean Guerrero, Royce Carlson, Juanita Hull-Carlson, and John Murphy collaborated over the past seven months to create the da Vinci Fish as a gift to the community of Bombay Beach, California. The forty-foot long sculpture is made from an aircraft fuselage, scrap steel, can lids, mosaic, and more. It is mounted on an axle so it can rotate with the wind. 



From Royce Carlson's website:

The da Vinci Fish is a collaborative work by five artists. Lead artist, Sean Guerrero (aka ChromeSean), had an idea to make a giant flying fish sculpture out of an airplane fuselage and donate the sculpture to the community of Bombay Beach on the edge of the Salton Sea in California. It is a contribution to the budding art scene that appears to be re-inventing this deteriorating community as an arts destination and bringing the environmental issues of the Salton Sea to the attention of more people. Read this article about Bombay Beach and what is going on there. Note: the article makes it sound more glamorous than it is. Still, it’s an interesting place and cool things are going on there.


In March of 2018 Sean and I were at Bombay Beach for the Bombay Beach Biennale. He had built a large sculpture of a rotting ship there out of driftwood and other detritus – The Death Ship. At one point he mentioned there was a Beechcraft King Air fuselage for sale in eastern Colorado. We mused about it a little and even asked other artists if they might be interested in buying it. No takers. About a month later Sean called and told me of his idea to get the fuselage and turn it into a giant flying fish. He asked if I would design and fabricate the fins, wings, and tail. I said “Hell YES!” It would be an honor to collaborate with him. His work is inspiring and I thought our different artistic styles would be compatible. The project was off and running.


Sean Guerrero – lead artist, modifying the fuselage and coordinating the project.
Royce Carlson – making the fins, wings, and tail.
Juanita Hull-Carlson – making mosaic panels for the sides of the fuselage.
John Murphy – making the base.
J. Cobe – web and videography skills for the promotion side of the project.

When installed it will be over 40 feet long with about a 44-foot wingspan. The top of the tail should be about 25 feet off the ground. The da Vinci Fish will be mounted 10 feet up on a vertical axle so it can move with the wind. The tail is articulated so it will move back and forth. The idea is for the da Vinci Fish to appear to be in a state of decay while also having a da Vinci’s workshop look to it. Much of the project is being fabricated in Paonia and Crested Butte, Colorado. Juanita and I are fabricating our part of it at our home near Prescott, Arizona. It will take about four trailer loads to get it all to Bombay Beach. We will begin ferrying the materials and start assembly at the beginning of March. Our plan is to have the installation completed before the Bombay Beach Biennale which will be held in the latter part of March, 2019.


We are donating the da Vinci Fish to Bombay Beach. So far all of the costs have been borne by the artists with no expectation of compensation. It has become more costly than we planned (as things like this often do!). I am guessing that we, collectively, are somewhere between $5k and $7k into it at this point and we still have to haul all this stuff out there and assemble it. We invite you to join us in bringing the DaVinci Fish to Bombay Beach by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign  Your contribution to the creation of this wonderful thing will be greatly appreciated.

The da Vinci Fish will be a permanent installation at Bombay Beach. You can go see it any time after March of this year.