Stunning Submerged Photography Offers New Artistic Perspective on Life Underwater

I Am Water by Christian Vizl

Renowned underwater photographer Christian Vizl is known for his unique black-and-white imagery. Over 30 years of his work culminated in the publication of his 2019 book Silent KingdomNow, after nearly two years of silence, Vizl is back with a new series of work that is a complete transformation of his style.

I Am Water is a stunning new series that sees Vizl pushing his work toward abstraction. These artistic underwater photographs come from Vizl's increasing awareness that everything humans do can have an effect on the ocean—this includes Vizl's own traveling and diving. So, for I Am Water, the photographer actually created almost the entire series using recycled images.

“My passion goes beyond just the artistic side of a photograph, and I am more interested in using them to bring hope and benefit the Ocean, the Planet, and all its living beings by creating awareness of the dire problems of today's world through beauty, a universal language,” shares Vizl.

This desire made it an easy choice to use imagery he already had on hand rather than going out to shoot new photographs. And in doing so, he saw his work evolve.

“This approach gave me the opportunity to dive deeper into the ever-changing nature of our perceptions,” he shares, “and, through a new vision, explore the meaning of the reality of the interconnectedness and interdependence we all share on this planet as a way to spark a shift in our consciousness that can lead us to more positive actions.”

The results are mesmerizing. In these sepia-toned photographs, we see glimpses of the familiar mixed with the abstract. In one image, thousands of silverside fish fill the frame, creating a hypnotic pattern. In another, water plants located in a Mexican cenote run like a spine up the vertical frame.

Each photo gives a new perspective on the underwater world; and in doing so, reminds us of the beauty that could be lost if we don't work collectively to keep our oceans clean. In a statement he penned about the series, Vizl reminds us that “you cannot fill an Ocean with one drop of water, but every drop of water is needed to fill this Ocean, and for the Ocean to be healthy, every drop of water must be healthy.”

Renowned underwater photographer Christian Vizl is back with a new series of images.

Thousands of silverside fish being hunted at La Poseta dive site.

Water plants found in crystal clear water at cenote Jardines del Edén.

This abstract underwater photography is a departure from his typical style.

Greenland Landscape of the mountains and drifting icebergs.

A bird flying on top of a rock in the middle of the fjord.

To create the artistic photographs, Vizl dove into his archives to explore previously shot imagery.

Abstract Underwater Photography by Christian Vizl

Abstract Underwater Photography by Christian Vizl

An open flower of a water plant in a cenote

Christian Vizl: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Christian Vizl.

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Underwater Photographer Spends Over 30 Years Documenting Marine Life in Black and White

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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