Mayor Tomas Regalado stands in the lobby of the
intercontinental hotel and stares up at an off-white marble sculpture that
resembles a skewed donut hole surrounded by folds.
"You have to say it's pretty," the mayor says. "But I
don't get it."
The sculpture by Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry is
one of 17 works displayed in the hotel lobby as part of Miami Sculpture
Biennale, curated by local poet and Latin American art expert Ricardo
Pau-Llosa. Outside another 47 sculptures line Bayfront Park along Biscayne
It's a crisp fall Thursday afternoon, and the mayor,
along with some 50 aids, artists and art fans, takes a leisurely stroll to view
the chosen works. It's a perfect chance to glimpse Regalado's art tastes, so we
The mayor stops in front of a traditional, realistically
rendered sculpture by Italian Sandro Chia, widely considered Italy's greatest
living artist. The sculpture depicts a man carrying another man on his
shoulders. It's clearly Regalado's favorite.
"It looks real," Regalado says. "I like to see things
realistically. It looks so sad and dramatic. It's impressive."
Down the road is a teetering tower of tea cups topped by
a black kettle.
"This one was controversial," the mayor says, and he
tells the story of how developer Mas Vidal bought the artwork with money
earmarked for a HUD housing development.
"That could be Miami," Regalado says, staring up at the
dizzying tower. "The cups, the coffee and the balancing of all the
The mayor stops to pose in front of a silver sculpture
Englishman Richard Hudson that's all curves. No head, just sensuous luscious
waves of silvery flesh.
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"We know that's Marilyn Monroe," the Mayor proclaims,
"even if we don't see the face."