This Boat isn’t Invisible, You Just Don’t Know that You’re Looking at it

There is a boat out in this water. No, this isn’t some sort of rumored military paint that makes things invisible; you are looking at the boat, you just don’t know it. These days, yachts are one of the most common signifiers of extreme wealth; the bigger and flashier the vessel, the better the signal. So, what signal is this camouflaged rock boat by Julien Berthier sending? While we’ve seen prettier boats, we’ve never seen one so well hidden.

The French coast with a rock boat inconspicuously floating
L’Invisible | Julien Berthier

Julien Berthier made a nearly invisible rock boat that you can easily see 

Photos of this rock boat leave many viewers confused. However, once anyone sees a video of the art project in action, the illusion is broken. 

What looks like a small rock outcropping poking out of the water at low tide is actually a seaworthy ship, whether it looks like it or not. 

For anyone who knows Berthier’s work, this rock boat won’t be overly surprising. His last maritime sculptural work was another boat called the Love Love. Following suit with the rock boat known as “L’Invisable, the Love Love was a working boat that appeared to be sinking at all times. 

Why did this artist make this invisible boat? 

As with all good art, this boat sculpture isn’t meant to do what any other boat does. The idea isn’t to make the best boat but to call attention to boating and the industry that supports it. As Autorevolution notes, according to Berthier’s website, the idea behind the rock boat seems to point the finger at the boating industry, environmental effects of humans, the playfulness of some, but also modern life itself. His writing mentions something about “modestly intervening” and “imperceptibly modifying” the environment. 

Berthier’s creation recently showed up off the coast of Marseille, confusing and slightly scaring beachgoers. The invisible boat has grabbed the attention of local papers and even some yachting magazines. 

Again, as good art is known to do, it is getting attention from the very groups it was aimed at calling attention to. Interestingly, the industry it’s critiquing decided to cover it and bring more attention to it. 

What is this rock boat made of? 

The French coast with a rock boat inconspicuously floating next to another boat
L’Invisible | Julien Berthier

The L’Insivible is made up of mostly a boat hull, polystyrene, paint, epoxy, and piles of elbow grease. The vessel is powered by a little outboard motor peeking out of the back. But looking too closely at this marvelous work of art, if like dissecting a bird to find the song.

As far as interior space goes, that has not been shown thus far. All we get to see and know about is that hatch at the front of the boat, which seems mostly used to climb aboard but also looks to be a pilot’s only means of seeing outside the craft. 

At the end of the day, this ship is meant to twist brains from afar. It is meant to make people question what they see directly in front of them and question much bigger topics, like how we interact with our natural environment. 

RELATED: The OceanBird: This Giant Futuristic Sail Boat Will Blow Your Mind