Turning Old Maps Into Vibrant Ocean Scenes

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Artists have a habit of seeing things other people can’t see. They see the sculpture waiting to be molded out of a lump of clay, the statue waiting in a piece of wood, the repurposed materials that would complete the creative vision they have in their heads. Artists have a unique way of viewing the world, which is something they have in common with cartographers.

Cartographers are artists in their own right, morphing lines and blank spaces into the borders of continents and the expanse of oceans. Cartographers utilize their scientific and artistic skills to take the massive amount of information they have about the world around them and distil it down to small, easy to handle bit of information.

Some maps are entirely utilitarian while others are distinctly artistic, a beautiful representation of the borders of our world. An artist named Matthew Cusick has combined the worlds of traditional art and cartography together in a unique blend of scientific exploration and art.

Cusick takes old maps and pieces them together in a sort of grand collage depicting everything from animal life to seascapes. He uses the different colors of the maps and blends them together with paints to create impressive works of art for all to enjoy. The maps’ natural color distinctions between ocean, land, and various locations throughout the map allow Cusick a great color palette to work with in addition to the other materials he uses in his artwork.

Genevieve's Wave by Matthew Cusick, 2014.
Genevieve’s Wave by Matthew Cusick, 2014.

Cusick’s artwork has been displayed all over the United States and has attracted a lot of interest from collectors and art aficionados around the country. His unique work has caught the fancy of art lovers just as maps have caught the fancy of explorers for hundreds of years. His use of this uncommon material for his works will continue to inspire and engage artists and collectors throughout the world.

Visit: Matthew Cusick’s Map Works