Latest Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Has $5 Million Art Collection

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Lawrence Argent's From Afar (2014) being installed aboard the Quantum of the Seas.
Photo: Courtesy Royal Caribbean.

The cruise ship company Royal Caribbean’s latest floating megalyth, the Quantum of the Seas, boasts a crane-mounted “observation pod,” virtual balconies for those unable to afford rooms with real balconies, and a $5.2 million contemporary art collection that includes a self-portrait by Andy Warhol and a 30-foot-tall sculpture by Lawrence Argent of a pixelated magenta bear. The towering work, which is perched on the massive ship’s deck, weighs in at 8 tons and boasts a whopping 1,340 triangular steel panels, according to the Royal Caribbean blog.

“It’s not supposed to be on a ship,” Argent says in a behind-the-scenes video (embedded below). “It’s a polar bear that’ pink.”

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Lawrence Argent’s From Afar (2014) being installed aboard the Quantum of the Seas.
Photo: Courtesy Royal Caribbean.

This isn’t Argent’s first ursine colossus. He created a big, blue-hued bear, I See What You Mean, for the Denver Convention Center. The less inquisitive, more mellow magenta edition, titled From Afar, should make for a startling sight as the Quantum of the Seas pulls into ports around the world.

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Lawrence Argent’s From Afar (2014) being installed aboard the Quantum of the Seas.
Photo: Courtesy Royal Caribbean.

Argent’s sculpture is the largest and most conspicuous piece in the Quantum of the Seas’ collection, which also includes the Warhol self-portrait and a massive wall installation by Paul Villinski portraying 210 butterflies. We trust that, unlike Damien Hirst, he opted for paint rather than real butterflies.

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A cut-away of the Quantum of the Seas art collection.
Courtesy Royal Caribbean.

If you’re curious to see the Quantum of the Seas collection in situ, you’d better be prepared to pay blue chip prices. Cruise packages aboard the brand new ship start around $1,100 for an eight-day spin around the Bahamas.

Watch a video of From Afar being installed:


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