Giant pink snails on South Beach? What's next, famine and a plagues of locusts? The bubble-gum pink creepers spotted throughout Miami Beach are not a sign of end times. And no, they're not the work of pink-loving Cristo either. The 45 snails, made from plastic gathered from landfills, are part of the REgeneration Art Project by an artist collective from Rome called the Cracking Art Group. Although sightings have already been reported, the public art exhibit doesn't officially open until this Friday at the Art Deco Welcome Center. By mid-December, the 8-foot slugs with shells will slither over to Collins Park in front of the Bass Museum, where they'll hang out until January 3. Why sails? Why now? The timing obviously coincides with Art Basel. The choice of gastropada gets a little more metaphorical. According to the Cracking Art Group artists (Renzo Nucara, Carlo Rizzetti, Marco Veronese, Alex Angi, Kicco, and William Sweetlove), snails represent hearing as their shells resemble the human ear. And as they carry their home on their backs, the animals represent issues of housing, and their antennas denote the idea of communication. But basically, these Italians want you to stop destroying the planet and have more fun. The Cracking Group, which has participated in over 600 international exhibitions including one with giant tortoises in Italy, are united in addressing what they see as the struggle between "a primary naturalness and an undeniably more artificial future."
Dec. 8-Jan. 3, 2010