American Artist’s Message in a Bottle Found on Beach by French Painter

The art world really is small sometimes.

The bottle after two and half years at sea. Photo: George Boor

An American artist’s message in a bottle project quickly became an impromptu communiqué between two creative minds when it was picked up on a French beach by a painter and her husband.

The bottle was deposited into the New York Harbor in 2013 by George Boorujy, a New York-based artist represented by P.P.O.W gallery. Into the bottle, Boorujy deposited a drawing of a cormorant—he’s best known for detailed, shockingly lifelike drawings of animals—as well as a letter with his contact information.

Two and a half years later, he received an email from Brigitte Barthelemy and her husband Alain, who found the bottle on a beach in the Aquitaine region of France, near the town of Royan, while walking their dog. The bottle had traveled approximately 3,500 miles.

Brigitte Barthelemy and the bottle. Photo: Ge

Brigitte Barthelemy and the bottle.
Photo: via George Boorujy.

Boorujy describes the first email he recieved from Barthelemy as “one of the most charming emails I have ever received,” and “perfectly French.” The Barthelemy’s sent Boorujy pictures of the bottle, which was predictably worse for the wear, with a large barnacle attached to the top.

“When I saw the email from Alain and Brigitte, I was amazed and crazy with excitement,” he told French newspaper Sud Ouest. “And the fact that Brigitte is also a painter is extraordinary.”

“I honestly don’t know what’s more surprising,” Boorujy wrote on his blog, “that it made it to Europe, or being that it was tossed from Staten Island that it wasn’t pulled by the currents right to Italy. (For French readers, that was a cheap joke about the number of Italians in Staten Island. But I am from New Jersey and allowed to make such cheap jokes.)”

Boorujy's drawing from inside the bottle. Photo: George Boorujy.

Boorujy’s drawing from inside the bottle.
Photo: via George Boorujy.


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