SHIPS HAPPEN

how 'SHIPS HAPPEN'ed...

When the COSTA CONCORDIA hit rock on January 13, 2012, my own memories and  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 as a 

2-year old passenger on the SS UNITED STATES from New York to Le Havre, France to arrive in Santander, Spain. (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 and  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

Because of these paintings, I was invited on a special tour aboard the ship on March 30, 2013inspiring new paintings, completed:
"WAITING"  & "OPEN PROMENADE" & "HAND WHEELS: WATER TIGHT"

My third visit in March 2014 included champagne in the ballroom with a few people receptive to the mystery.

Fourth encounter was in July 2015. Again, the visit sparked more new works...

"IN CORAL LIGHT"

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.

image6
image7

MIDNIGHT FUNNELS (SS UNITED STATES) ©2012 mijares

MIDNIGHT FUNNELS (SS UNITED STATES) ©2012 mijares

Original Painting Acrylic on Linen, 18" x 32"

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.

Giclée prints of original painting MIDNIGHT FUNNELS now available.

Giclee is actual size— 

18" x 32" on canvas.    

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.  

Giclée will arrive signed, rolled in a tube with Certificate of Authenticity.  

email : marmijares@verizon.net


about the SS United States Conservancy

SS UNITED STATES inspirES a SONG

*

image8

In my studio, I ask Marc Jonson to write a song about 'the Ship'

"ACROSS THE NIGHT"

image9

with the paintings as backdrop, Marc Jonson writes the song,

"ACROSS THE NIGHT"


*

image10

On board the SS United States

July 2015

*

image11

Marc performs "ACROSS THE NIGHT" at the SS United States Conservancy GALA

Union League, Philadelphia

image12

Dressed as one would for a night aboard THE most elegant ocean liner 

*

image13

Marc playing the grand piano at the historic Union League, Philadelphia

"ACROSS THE NIGHT" by MARC JONSON

Official video for Across the Night performed and written by Marc Jonson to help raise awareness for the historic ship, the SS United States's and it's future.

marcjonson.com

"ACROSS THE NIGHT" on YouTube

JUST as I had begun researcHing, the MV AUGUSTUS was brought to Alang, India for scrapping

ON THE AUGUSTUS May 23, 1958

image14

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. 

*

image15

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.”

*

image16

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  Crayolas and kept me company. Coloring, we didn’t have to speak. 

*

image17

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. 

Retrospective at the Morris Museum

image18

To start the sequence, I painted the ship in her glory (1952) and also three interiors within portholes.  


I was able to purchase shelves from the actual ship upon which I could display family photos.

image19


AUGUSTUS in ALANG October 2012


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.