The sailor, and how he got lost. Through the eyes of Coco Capitán
Anyone with a fondness for nostalgia will enjoy the work of the young Spanish artist Coco Capitán. The melancholy and wistfulness shown in her oeuvre is on full display in her contribution to Huis Marseille’s group exhibition Infinite Identities. The overall title that Capitán gave to her group of works is Naïvy: a portmanteau of ‘naïve’ and ‘navy’, where the second term refers both to seamen and to Capitán’s favourite shade of blue.
Capitán’s multimedia oeuvre gives centre stage to the iconic figure of the sailor. He appears, however, not as the conventional male stereotype, but in the form of a gender-fluid character dressed in Capitán’s adaptation of an American Second World War sailor’s uniform. Capitán’s sailors often wear only the top half of this uniform, leaving their lower half naked: this is one of the ways she seeks to ‘break uniformity’ and allow the individual to rise above the collective. ‘I wrote a piece about a fictional military group called The Lost Navy,’ Capitán told Vogue. ‘This work is about wanting to disappear, and to find a group of people to disappear at sea with […] Poetically speaking, someone who is disappointed with their current reality and wants to land somewhere else.’
How, then, did these sailors lose their way? In Where did the sailor get lost? a series of twenty photographs forming part of Capitán’s exhibition in Huis Marseille, the artist goes in search of the origins of her fascination for the sea, the sailors, the navy, and navy blue. Her texts, hand-written in the white borders of the passe-partout, sometimes seem to give the viewer a clue, but more often than not they simply deepen the mystery. The complete series Where did the sailor get lost? has now been acquired for the Huis Marseille collection.
Obtain an exclusive edition, selected and personalized by Coco Capitán
From Where did the sailor get lost? Coco Capitán has selected three images – Cristi on Grass, Deep Naïvy, and Grey in Blue – for a special Huis Marseille edition. The images are all characteristic of her work, with their clear composition, their naïve-poetic content, and their nostalgic undertone, aspects that are strengthened by their soft colours and film grain. The original analogue photos were printed by the master printer Peter Svenson, scanned, and the scans then used by Fotolab to create inkjet prints for this special edition. Coco Capitán has signed and numbered each print, and given almost every one a different handwritten text, making every one of these editions unique. All the prints have the Capitán-designed Naïvy-logo on the white border.
- Coco Capitán
- Deep Naïvy
- Inkjet print on Canson Luster paper
- Dimensions (including white border:) 42 x 29.7 cm
- Number of prints: 30
- Signed and numbered