Germans: not content with winning the World Cup for the zillionth time, they’re now trying to hide our warships. Or one of our former warships, at least. Under the guidance of Berlin-based artist Tobias Rehberger something strange has been happening to HMS President over the past fortnight. If you’ve found yourself wandering along Victoria Embankment in the small hours, you may have witnessed a crack team of decorators on small boats or abseiling down the side of the ship. More used to covering black cabs with transfer ads, they’ve been coating the ship with a black-and-white geometric design that turns this floating bar into an instant op-art party vessel.
There’s a sobering reason for the intervention, though. Rehberger’s design is inspired by the ‘dazzle’ camouflage that covered British vessels, including HMS President, during WWI to confuse enemy U-boats. The work, part of the ‘14-18 Now’ WWI centenary art commissions, will be on display for the rest of the year. As we found out at the launch yesterday, the boat itself is one of the worst places to see the design. If you want to admire the bedazzled President, you’re best bet is to head to Blackfriars bridge or the South Bank.
Find out more at 1418now.org.uk.