Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will exit the enclosed building hall at the Meyer Werft tomorrow, August 13, revealing an unexpected occupant – a 30-foot-tall magenta polar bear situated prominently on the exterior deck of the ship. The bear, a sculpture created by Denver-based artist Lawrence Argent, is the first glimpse of the 2,980 piece, multi-million art collection themed "What Makes Life Worth Living" that has been curated for the ship.
In addition to Lawrence Argent, a portfolio of artists are featured, including Paul Villinski, who created a monumental installation called "Crossing," which encompasses a wall of 210 butterflies representing 30 species, each made of aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic and enamel; sculptor Soo Sunny Park, whose sprawling, undulating structure titled "Waves of Light," explores the light's potential as a structural element. Pieces by these artists and others span size, art forms and mediums, and can be enjoyed both inside and outside the ship.
"Royal Caribbean has a long history of showcasing original art at sea; in fact, we boast one of the world's largest private art collections across our fleet," commented Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president, operations, Royal Caribbean International. "The pieces we have commissioned for the Quantum are stunning, engaging and in some cases completely unexpected, and we are so thrilled that our guests have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of exceptionally brilliant works from some of the world's most talented artists such as Lawrence Argent."
The bear titled "From Afar" is comprised of 1,340 stainless steel triangles, weighs approximately eight-tons and is intended to incite wonder among guests, encouraging them to admire the bear from afar, as well as interact with it on a more intimate, yet whimsical level. The piece helps guests explore the ship's art theme by showcasing intangible qualities of what makes life worth living, such as peace, love, joy, gratitude and passion, which is what the art pieces are meant to evoke, while sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, scheduled to debut April 2015, will uncover tangible aspects of the theme such as adventure, entertainment and nature, according to the cruise line.