Tendrils and plumes of oil have covered the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, leaving a viscous mess in the open sea. The environmental disaster that was caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is horrible and will no doubt have a long lasting impact on the Gulf. While on assignment for GQ magazine covering the disaster, photographer Benjamin Lowy however was struck by how beautiful the congealed pockets of crude were. Floating on the sea, swirling with the seawater, they looked strangely like abstract paintings. These are close up images of the pools of oil that stagnate on the surface of the Gulf.