The Gilded Tantrum



A monumental piece, first shown in 2013 at the MK Gallery for Wilcox's solo show, by its namesake, "The Gilded Tantrum'. Featured in JUXTAPOZ Magazine and being offered for the first time since. STATEMENT BY THE ARTIST The Gilded Tantrum is the name given to the vessel built by my great-great-great-grandfather, Matthius Schoonhoven, in 1877. This exhibition is a culmination of my childhood memories and experiences aboard this watery, ancestral home. Matthias believed that one's own empire requires it's own navy. Originally five such boats were commissioned to be built by the Flemish ship yard Dugunhaagar. However, only the Gilded Tantrum was completed and it has remained in our family for five generations. It is an inspired vessel of dual purpose. A yacht to be enjoyed as a recreational craft and at once a gun boat for both defense and sport. A private gunship with all of the interior luxuries the gilded age could afford. I can recall most fondly my summers aboard the Tantrum navigating the inter-coastal waterways. We would head south to the Florida Keys for drive trips during lobster season. All day dive trips would end with a twilight cruise on glass-calm waters. Back flips from the gun turrets became a favorite pastime of my sister and her friends. Long since decommissioned, these gun turrets had been replaced by my father with water cannons for amusing sparring sessions with other ships of sport as they passed. Yet, with the possession of this gargantuan water craft came a burden of great chore and responsibility. In my young adult years the Gilded Tantrum remained still. Docked in the calm waters of a quiet Florida canal behind our winter home, silently slipping into disrepair. The electric bilge pumps were the only things that kept it afloat. I remember the time a hive of bees took up residence in the thruster housings. In an effort to remove them I once again donned the "bee suit" as we called it. It was a burlap suit fashioned to look like a bear. Made for me by my father, who was never known for his skills in needlecraft, in an effort to protect me from the stings. Stepping aboard at twilight, when the bees were dormant, I lumbered toward the hive with a likeness very akin to a character on a parade float. Needless to say I grew tired of the upkeep that the vessel required and shrugged the responsibility that I believed had so unfairly befallen me. The life boats were sold off and the turrets were removed and recycled. While the exterior of the once grand craft took on a patina of an unhappy nature and began to decay, the great room remained intact. A time capsule, filled with gothic revival pieces and Victorian curiosities collected from past voyages spanning back over a century. Depictions of myth and monster lined the walls and shelves of the staterooms below the ships waterline, like some modern day Lascaux. Now that my youth has passed, I have come to the realization that the work and expense required to maintain such a craft is not to be considered a burden but rather a blessing. As a result, we have chosen to take up residence on the vessel, to fill its halls once again with the laughter and commotion of everyday living. At present the "Gilded Tantrum" sits in a dry dock undergoing renovations and we are pleased to announce that she nears completion of overhaul and will be returned to us once more.
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submarine, fine art, iron clad, dreadnought, kinetic , sculpture, yacht
Wood, brass, steel