ISSUE | Cole Sternberg Interview on 2015 voyage across the Pacific Ocean

Joe McKee, March 1, 2022

Watching Cole’s work gradually unfurl was a marvel to me. He painted out in the open air on the main deck, canvasses strung up to various metal beams, looking like flags of Atlantis being battered by the wind. He dipped each piece into the Pacific ocean by rope and anchor, dragging them alongside the mammoth vessel as if they were giant squid, the near freezing salt water stressing and decaying their faces and ageing their appearance. The 18 paintings that were birthed from that process are almost biblical in nature, each shroud encapsulating the movement and harshness of the open ocean.