Back in BC, rich people knew how to party. Why have a boat show, when you can fill an arena with water, plop in the emperor’s best-looking warships and a few thousand prisoners of war condemned to death and violanaumachia! The tradition of restaged sea fight spectaculars may be dead, but every summer, the yachting class descends on the bays of Antibes or St-Tropez.

But something is missing. Photographer Vincent Debanne has created a series of photo-collages adding the necessarily flourishes. Ka-boom… Ka-boom.

“With the Battleship series, I want to evoke the display of power performed by the super rich in the exclusive centers of world yachting,” Debanne tells We Make Money Not Art. “I think that this display of luxury is made for two audiences: for the poor, as a show, a triumph, as they would have called it in Rome, but mostly for the rich themselves, the game is one that will require the biggest yacht, the longest length to affirm your status, communicate your high rank to other rich people.” Sounds like a very opulent display of seabound dick-measuring. Bombs away!

Naumachia at the Colosseum (Illustration: G. Nispi-Landi, 1913 via)
(Images: Vincent Debanne)