Charles Hecht Artist  



  man's interaction

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When fishermen use cyanide and dynamite to destroy a reef, mankind is making a choice.

The base of this sculpture, which is on an area of 2' x 2' square demonstrates the harmonious relationship between the coral, the reef and the fish. The coral and reef elements are movable. In this way the viewer can change the relationships. This principle illustrates how the relationships in the reef are changing at all times. All of these elements get along and are harmonious with each other. Towering over this harmonious set of relationships is the cyanide and the dynamite, which are at a 45 degree angle. If man wants to continue destroying the coral reefs, he can drop the dynamite or cyanide. If man wants to preserve the reefs, man can decide to prohibit fishermen and collectors of tropical fish for the aquarium trade from using dynamite and cyanide. Man's Choice is 4' high and weighs approximately 60 pounds. The elements are steel, industrial rubber, marbles, sculptamold and wood. This sculpture was completed in 1998.


One of the reasons I became interested in metal sculpture was that I thought it would be the ideal vehicle to educate mankind about how it was up to us on whether the environment would be saved or destroyed. In particular, I was appalled by the way scuba diving operators would use anchors rather than moorings, destroying the very reefs that gave them a livelihood. Fishermen whose ancestral methods preserved the reefs are using modern techniques that will ruin the fisheries for their children and their descendents. Coral reefs are a critical part of the eco system, home to myriad smaller organisms that feed the larger ones. At the current rate of habitat destruction the fisheries are already failing. One day soon, the fish may suffer a population collapse from which they can’t recover. The coral reef system is essential to our long-term survival

Understanding Our Fragile Environment

Recreational scuba diving began as a result of World War II and has been increasingly popular ever since, particularly in the last 10 years. Diving has given many divers a greater appreciation of the importance of coral reefs to the long-term survival of mankind, and of how fragile the reef ecosystem is. Through neglect, indifference and ignorance, major portions of the world's coral reefs are being destroyed. My sculptures are devoted to teaching us that we have a choice.

Club Med Ecology

In the mid-90’s, Club Med advertised its dive-dedicated resorts. However, at these resorts the dive boats would use anchors on the dive sites. Each time an anchor is dropped, it destroys a part of the reef. This made no economic sense, because Club Med was destroying the very thing that was bringing guests to its dedicated dive destinations. The purpose of this sculpture was to have Club Med change to use moorings instead of anchors for its dive boats. Another excuse given by dive operators for not using moorings is that it discloses their secret dive sites to competitors. I understand that the Buccaneer Creek Club Med dedicated dive resort changed to moorings after this sculpture was constructed in 1998. Of course, with modern radar it is a simple matter to plot the location of the reef where you want to dive. The garden eels in the front left of the sculpture are in view and this signifies that everything is peaceful and calm. As most scuba divers know, when man approaches the garden eels they sink into the sand. But when nobody’s there and the water is peaceful, they come up to feed. Club Med Ecology is on a 2' x 2' base and is approximately 4' high. The elements of this sculpture are steel, industrial rubber, sculptamold, marbles, and iron. It weighs approximately 60 pounds. The top of the anchor chain can be disassembled from the main sculpture for shipping and moving.

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Charles Hecht