When the US missile tracking ship Vandenberg sunk in Key West, Florida, in 2009, it’s safe to assume that the vision for the hulking steel didn’t include—an art gallery? Photographer Andreas Franke, however, was thinking outside the box. Or rather, under the waves. Franke shot images of the wrecked vessel and then digitally hyperimposed everyday scenes into the underwater world—ballerinas at the barre, kickboxers mid-spar, a lounging teenager in front of the TV, all surrounded by schools of tropical fish.
Many of the subjects in his images harken back to times gone by, from the ’80s-inspired attire of the roller skate, exercise gear-wearing babe to the young boy riding an antique tricycle on the ship’s murky deck. Once Franke had finished his digital manipulations, called The Vandenburg: Life Below the Surface, he went back to the venue and staged a gallery show like none we’ve ever seen before, one that requires an affinity for the ocean and a topped-up scuba tank to enjoy. Save the champagne and polite applause for the trip back to shore.