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New York’s most historic fire boat has a dazzling new paint job

by Diana Budds 7 Jul 10:40 UTC
The John J. Harvey is one of FDNY's most historic vessels. The boat was built in the 1930s, decommissioned in the 1990s, and brought back into service for 9/11. © Nicholas Knight

Believe it or not, one of WWI's greatest innovations was... a can of paint. To camouflage warships, the British navy painted them with bold, abstract patterns inspired by artistic movements like Cubism and Futurism. The technique was named Dazzle.

One such ship is docked in New York until May 2019—but there's a twist: It's a 1930s fire boat done up in a contemporary Dazzle motif by artist Tauba Auerbach.

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