Sunbathe with Giant Arthropod Sculptures at Art Basel Miami

Theo Jansen, Apodiacula 2 flickr.com

Art Basel Miami is the art lover’s perfect chance to escape the frigid winds of northern climates in early December. And though there are thousands of art works to be seen at the fair’s 250 booths, you’d be loony not to relax and lay in the sun for at least a little while in between checking out booths, installations and, epic parties. If you finally get a chance to relax into the warm sand with a mimosa, don’t be alarmed to see a humongous sculpture-turned-arthropod creature teetering over to you.

In his first ever US tour presented by Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum, Dutch artist Theo Jansen is setting six of his self-propelling sculptures, known as “Strandbeests”, loose onto the central stretch of Miami Beach, the Independent reports. The star of the  group is Jansen’s new 42-foot long Animaris Suspendisse.

According to the artist’s website, Strandbeests are composed of recycled materials such as water bottles and PVC tubes. When wind off the coast is ushered into the water bottles by small wings at the front it is stored there as potential energy of sorts and gets funneled through several bicycle pumps in the belly of the beast to extend the pvc-tubed legs of the sculpture forward. Jansen told the Independent the sturdy sculptures are able to “respond to environmental conditions by storing wind power, changing direction when they sense water and anchoring themselves during storms”.

The sculptures will be on view on the stretch of Miami beach between 21st and 22nd Streets from December 4 through the 7th. They will be accompanied by a model replica of the artist’s workshop and an exhibition of photographs of Jansen’s earlier sculptures.


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