Copyright 2016. MARIA MIJARES. All Rights Reserved.
When the COSTA CONCORDIA hit rock on January 13, 2012, my own memories and personal experiences were evoked of the four transatlantic passages carried in my psyche all of my life. I then realized the ships were the link—the literal connector of my two worlds.
I began to research the ships upon which I had sailed–the first time a 2 year old passenger on the SS UNITED STATES from New York to Le Havre to arrive in Santander. (1953)
The first paintings to link me to Big U would be derived from historical research. Looking through portholes to the past, three elegant interiors,
BAR, DINING ROOM, LOUNGE & DOCKING IN GLORY
I first revisited the SS UNITED STATES in June 2012 in a ‘midnight ramble’ with old friends from WOMENSWORKS, an artist collective with whom I exhibited in the mid to late 70s. We visited again the following afternoon—both times viewing the ship through chain link fence.
"MIDNIGHT FUNNELS" & "IKEA GIRLS" & 2 GRIM PROFILES
A special tour aboard on March 30, 2013 inspired new paintings
"WAITING" & "OPEN PROMENADE" & "HAND WHEELS: WATER TIGHT"
My third visit, March 2014, included champagne in the ballroom with a few people receptive to the mystery.
Fourth visit July 2015.
new works in-progress
The SS United States—an American icon of the 1950’s and 60’s—is the largest American ocean liner ever built and the fastest passenger liner in history, still holding the transatlantic speed record. Built in conjunction with the Navy as part of a top-secret Cold War program to create the fastest ship in history, she sailed from 1952 to 1969 and represented the height of American power, innovation and style. Today, the last of her kind, she is still structurally sound and awaits restoration.
As owners and stewards of “America’s Flagship,” the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to ensure that this enduring expression of American pride and innovation educates and inspires for generations to come.
MIDNIGHT FUNNELS (SS UNITED STATES)
Original Painting Acrylic on Linen, 18" x 32"
Giclée prints of original painting MIDNIGHT FUNNELS now available.
50% of the profits on the sales of this will be contributed to the SS UNITED STATES Conservancy.
$750.00 includes shipping within the continental US.
Giclee is actual size— 18" x 32" on canvas.
Giclée will arrive signed, rolled in a tube with Certificate of Authenticity.
email MARIA MIJARES: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the SS UNITED STATES go to:
Singer-Songwriter MARC JONSON wrote ACROSS THE NIGHT for the SS UNITED STATES
Performing ACROSS THE NIGHT at the SS United States Conservancy GALA October 2015 at the Union League in Philadelphia
At the same time as I had begun research the MV AUGUSTUS had been brought to Alang, India for scrapping.
ON THE AUGUSTUS
May 23, 1958
At the end of the first grade my parents and I set sail to spend another year in Spain with my grandparents. They had emigrated from Santander, Spain to New York at the turn of the century, but retired to their homeland.
To the extreme excitement, I’d react blasé, acting bored on board.
After farewells at the ship bon voyage, we were off. My grandmother’s friends, Petra and Justo, were along as well, and we had some fun around the pool. But, what were all those spots on me? Cinders from smoke stacks? I wasn’t feeling so well either. When the ship doctor took a look, I had chicken pox.
I was swiftly evacuated to the infirmary, screaming—or as my father writes in his journal, “with much protest.” Everyone spoke Italian, which I did not understand. There was no way five of them were going to flip me over for a shot. It didn’t happen. In the middle of the night a male nurse found delight with my big box of Crayolas and kept me company coloring. We didn’t have to speak.
As we approached Barcelona—our destination—I would have to be examined by the port doctor. We might be forced to continue on to the Italian port... There was great relief when I was released.
In that bed I could not have imagined that 54 years later I would be painting the MV AUGUSTUS—we are the same age— as she is taken apart, peeling my way back to our shared history.
To start the sequence, I painted the ship in her glory (1952) and also three interiors within portholes.
With the help of maritime historian Peter Knego I followed her demise—December (2011), February, April, July, to finally October (2012) with just the engine on the beach. I was able to purchase shelves from the actual ship upon which I showed family photos in my 2013 retrospective exhibition at the Morris Museum.