André is a man of legend and is known as the first artist painting under water. He used to be a submarine engineer and a member of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s crew. His first submarine seascape found world popularity in 1962. The canvas reveals the interior of the Conshelf undersea house, where, for the first time in history aquanauts worked for seven days underwater in a program specially developed by Cousteau. At present André Laban is a painter whose work submerges the beholder in a realistic submarine environment and thus enables the viewer to feel what a scuba diver sees. André, like no one else manages to portray the peculiarity of subaqueous world, its tonality and genuine sea mood.
Dominique has spent his life driven by his two passions — the sea and his art. Born in Paris, he studied painting at l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris from 1966-68. His most important body of work was created on board the Calypso as underwater illustrator and writer for l'Equipe Cousteau. Dominique has explored the most spectacular shipwrecks of the world and has captured them on canvas. His sealife and coral reef acrylic series captures the world’s most beautiful reefs.
Roberto Matta (1911-2002) was a pivotal painter of the twentieth century. Chilean born, Matta studied under and was associated with some of the most significant artists of the time, including Le Corbusier, André Breton, Salvador Dalí, and others. In addition to becoming an important figure in the Surrealist movement, Matta also influenced the development of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Matta strove to visually represent the psychological, and his canvases often resemble eerily disassociated landscapes, not unlike underwater scenes. Excellent examples of this are Matta’s Hom’mere series, which are often comprised of atmospheric shades of blue and bear titles that make playful references to water or ocean.
Robert Lyn Nelson
Robert Lyn Nelson is an internationally acclaimed painter and is considered the founder of the Modern Marine Art Movement. His groundbreaking painting Two Worlds (1979) established an artistic style that revealed two universes at once: life above water, and life below. Inspired by the ocean and influenced by Jacques Cousteau’s films, Nelson’s paintings capture the magic of marine life and celebrate the beauty of the natural environment.
In celebration of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s vision and influence, Ocean Inspiration has dedicated a gallery to underwater images inspired by a love for our ocean planet. This unique collection of photographs consists of work from distinguished underwater photographers including Ernie Brooks, Chuck Davis, Bob Talbot, Brian Skerry, Scott Frier and Carrie Vonderhaar. Each has worked with the Cousteau family or has been deeply inspired by the Captain’s mission.