Photos courtesy of William Kieffer.
Tonight, and only tonight, guests of the Aquarium of the Pacific will be able to experience a walk-through installation called City of Fish, an immersive exhibit featuring found-object renderings of sea creatures and, perhaps forebodingly, the sunken coastal cities of a not-so-improbable future.
The installation is part of the aquarium’s Night Dive event, which takes place tonight from 7:00PM to 11:00PM, to feature bands The DTEASE, Jet Jaguar and Paco and The Tacos. Guests are invited to explore the aquarium and have fun with the night’s glam rock theme, with glow-in-the-dark face paint, a mini-lecture called Our Glowing Ocean: An Overview of Bioluminescence, food trucks and more.
The man behind City of Fish, William Kieffer, a Crewest Studio artist and Long Beach local, won the grand prize at the aquarium’s Urban Ocean Festival juried art showcase for one of his fish sculptures. He creates cartoonish sculptures of creatures made entirely of trash and objects found on the beach. Each animal has been made as part of a larger narrative that Kieffer is showing for the first time Friday night.
“There are two things that have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember: making art and being underwater. And one constant that has been present in both of these is trash,” Kieffer said in a statement. “Since my art has progressively been focused on interpretations of the animal world, the repurposing of human-generated garbage into the piece has become essential for the underlying purpose and message throughout the work.”
City of Fish fulfills Kieffer’s lifelong dream of creating a “walk-through, museum-style world, complete with a narrative story, environment and creatures of all shapes and sizes interacting together,” according to the release. Kieffer’s work combines elements of dimensional illustration, sculpture and photography into environments depicting imaginary worlds.
“To be able to delve into my mind’s eye and then see this become physical reality has been a truly joyful (and often hilarious) experience,” Kieffer said in a statement. “From here, I look forward to progressing my art into bigger, bolder and even more ambitious undertakings, and hope that my work may inspire the viewer toward a more empathetic and conservation-minded existence.”
The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way.