| Art |

Artist Benoit Izard to Install 300-Foot "LOVE" Project in the Everglades During Art Basel

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Every year around this time, news begins filtering in about the biggest Art Basel art projects. We mean "biggest" in the physical sense; the giant projects that take months or even years to plan, such as last year's 230-foot "Gator in the Bay" or giant inflatable psychic dog at Lords South Beach, generally start promoting themselves extra early.

But if you live in Miami, the first 2013 project we've discovered won't exactly be easy to experience for yourself. Artist Benoit Izard, or Bizard, plans to write the word LOVE in 300-foot letters out in the Everglades.

Izard has staged his "LOVE" project in New York, Paris, Washington D.C., and even during a Miami Sleepless Night, but the installations elsewhere have typically been on a smaller scale. To create his massive Everglades installation, Izard has paired up with Love the Everglades, a movement to promote preserving the Glades through art.

In keeping with his eco-friendly statement, Izard says, he'll use only nature itself to write the words. In a statement to Curbed Miami, he writes:

Technically, no alien elements will be added. I'm using what is there. LOVE will be seen by the change of color between the blue of water and the green-brown of the cattails. The best way to do it is by folding the cattails (to bend them in the water) by passing several times with an airboat. Furthermore, it will help the ecosystem because cattails are an invasive plant on the Everglades ecosystem.

The message goes beyond saving the Everglades, though; this project is about water scarcity the world over. Izard compares this project to Christo and Jeanne-Claude's legendary "Surrounded Islands" installation in Biscayne Bay during the 1980s; both, he says, combine art and nature to alter the viewer's perception of the landscape.

Unfortunately, if you're already living in Miami, you won't be perceiving "LOVE" at all. The installation will be solely visible from the air, which is great for tourists flying into town for Art Basel but not so great for Miamians without a budget for a helicopter tour of the Everglades. Hey, maybe you can get one of your friends from New York to snap a picture on their way in.

Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

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