Robert Del Tredici, “Ubiquitous”, 2014, Mixed Media Print on Metallic Paper, New Bedford Whaling Museum
Robert Del Tredici started out as a pen-and-ink landscape-maker in the Marin county hills of California. His first big project was a series of 100 illustrations to “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. He then took up street photography, made portraits of film-makers, and, with the near-meltdown at the Three Mile Island, started documenting the nuclear age.
His first book, “The People of Three Mile Island”, published in 1980, led to a 1987 book written about the entire US nuclear weapons complex, “At Work in the Fields of the Bomb”. Following its publication, he traveled to the former Soviet Union and photographed nuclear towns and facilities there.
Del Tredici is the founder of The Atomic Photographers Guild, an international collective of photographers dedicated to making visible the nuclear age. Since 2001 he has been creating collages depicting the era of the War on Terror, a series he calls “Evolution Pages 9/11”.
In the mixed media print “Ubiquitous”, artist Del Tredici captions an image of the phases of the moon, with Moby Dick breaching in between them. A quotation from Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” about ghostly sightings of the whale is written at the bottom left.
“One of the wild suggestions coming to be linked with white whale in the minds of the superstitously inclined was the unearthly conceit that Moby Dick was ubiquitous, that he had actually been encountered in opposite latitudes at one and the same instant of time.”