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Art to Sea: The Aquariva by Marc Newson

Michael Verdon

A stunning Riva Aquariva will be unveiled at the Gagosian Gallery on West 21st Street in Manhattan on September 14 and will remain on display through October 16. Unlike the gleaming Rivas launched from its factory in Sarnico, Italy, this limited-edition Aquariva is the brainchild of Marc Newson, who has created a range of the world’s most beautiful and technically advanced industrial designs, from concept jets to surfboards.

Newson kept the original DNA of the Aquariva but made some significant changes, like incorporating a one-piece windshield, anodized aluminum handrails, and changing the shape of the transom. Blurring the borders of art and design, Newson also used a phenolic textile composite instead of the traditional mahogany deck. “It has a very organic quality, like wood, with a color and grain, but it’s more durable than wood,” says Newson, who also appreciates its tactile qualities. For both aesthetic and technical reasons, the designer also chose to use anodized aluminum fixtures from the aerospace industry.

Newson also employed punchy colors, including a vivid turquoise reminiscent of the 1960s Riva Aquarama. Just 22 of Newson’s limited-edition Aquariva will be produced. The boat is powered by Yanmar diesels and has the added maneuverability of a bow thruster.

Yacht aficionados have always considered classic Rivas a collector’s dream, and this avant-garde Aquariva, priced at $1.5 million, will no doubt move to the top of the wish list on September 14. (www.gagosian.com)

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