Image: Andreas Franke
A unique photography series was created recently by Austrian artist Andreas Franke who, when diving the wreck of the SS Stavronikita on the floor of the Caribbean Sea off the island of Barbados, saw it as the prime location to create one of his meticulously construed photographic stagings.  Using the coral formations which had been created from an artificial reef on the wreck as the backdrop, Franke has created a decadent Rococo scene with surreal and haunting images by combining photographs of the sunken ship with those produced in a studio and the images are typical of the era: disgraceful, self-indulgent and immoderate. 

Magnets were affixed to the pictures, which were then fastened to the ship. Care was taken not to disturb the ecological balance of marine life or to damage the outer skin of the Stavronikita. Divers were able to view the pictures underwater, thereby returning the images to their original setting.

Images: Andreas Franke