True Romance?

Mining the lost and found of love

THU 12/4

Kathe Izzo vows to fall in love with anybody who makes an appointment with her. She offers a deep, telepathic connection based on unconditional love. This is not a joke. It's art. Her work, LOST: An Exploration of Trust, Love, and True Connection, consists of a series of intimate interludes she has with private audiences. As part of her ongoing True Love Project, she spends a few hours with a subject, pledging to freely fall in love with him or her.

Once you make an appointment and pass a screening process, you get an orientation packet. She'll ask a few questions, mostly getting-to-know-you material. Once the date is set, the journey begins. You'll get an e-mail, a cryptic message, a phone call. The result, she says, is absolute acceptance and appreciation. Izzo will do anything you want, except your laundry.

If it sounds confusing, be warned. Izzo's work skirts the borders of genuine emotional fulfillment, sexual bliss, and even prostitution. But who said love is easy to figure out? Admittedly there has been some hanky-panky on a few of Izzo's encounters. But the physical aspect is not the focus. Once she had to excuse herself from a Russian guy who was a little bit of "a demon." But she says she still loves him.

This art is in a category yet to be defined, because of the personal, private canvas. What happens during these encounters is not exactly clear. But it's supposed to be heavy. The point of it all is to share positive emotions. Izzo admits she's on the "spread the love and make the world a better place" trip, and that most physical art is contrived, a product, while her art is hedged on intent. Skeptics will say she's not falling in love at all. You'll probably never hear from her again after an experience together. But isn't that what true love is like anyway?

If you could use some love, call Izzo at 305-324-0585. She'll be in town December 4-7 for Art Basel. -- By Humberto Guida

On Parade

Little Green Men

SUN 12/7

"Elves Wanted," read the flyer. Could Santa have been soliciting for more diminutive underpaid factory workers during the recent FTAA talks? Of course, the flourishing operation at the North Pole is the ultimate example of globalization, putting the jolly fat man in a rather bad light. But we'd prefer not to think such things. It's more likely that the green-clad minions are hot, if the success of the movie Elf is any indication. Everybody wants an elf. And some people actually have them. They're called children, and if you doll them up in tiny green felt outfits with matching tights, hats, and curly-toed shoes, they can be "cute little elves." Exactly the kind needed for the 21st annual Santa's Parade of the Elves, marching west on Sunset Drive (at U.S. 1) at 2:00 p.m. Babies and kiddies up to age 11 are encouraged to show up at South Miami City Hall (6130 Sunset Dr.) at 1:00 p.m. in full regalia. Their reward: the glory of hoofing it behind the lead elf, humiliating photos that will haunt them throughout their lives, and a holiday ribbon. Admission and watching are free. Call 305-665-7222. -- By Nina KormanTrees RevisitedNot seeing the forest for the art

THU 12/4

A tree is not always a tree. At least not at the Festival of Trees, a creative display of arboreal-inspired art now in its 17th year. Graphic designer Tom Graboski and his team have constructed trees from lime green yo-yos to dozens of Ping-Pong balls, beach balls, tennis balls, and basketballs. They also made a tree out of 12-foot papier-mâché orange peel. These are just a few of the creations designers and architects have presented for the event. Trees crafted from such items as fabric, toys, metal, neon, scrap paper, or stacks of chairs are not outside the norm.

The opening gala, benefiting the FIU School of Architecture, starts at 5:30 p.m. at One Brickell Square, 801 Brickell Ave. Tickets cost $45. The exhibit runs through Monday, December 29, and is free to the public. Call 305-348-6101. -- By Patti Roth

Helter Swelter

THU 12/4 If the doors of the Bass Museum open for Art Basel, without a doubt the biggest art event of the year, it won't be because of the fine touches of Diane Camber, museum executive director and chief curator; it will be because of the six Stulz Ultrasonic Humidifiers that are holding down the fort.

United by a monitoring system that interfaces with ten hydrothermographs charting humidity in the museum, the technology has the solitary mission of keeping the museum's air perfectly hydrated. The Stulzes work quietly in back rooms, expelling fine mists of water into the museum's air conditioning vents, thus ensuring that the holdings don't dry out. The system, which is estimated to have cost close to $400,000, is sort of like the behind-the-scenes host of the Bass's bashes during Basel weekend. The assemblage of cylinders, tanks, and digital screens serves an ironic purpose: keeping the humidity high in Miami. That could be seen as a piece of art in itself. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

 
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