With all the fastidious worry about just how much space and carrying capacity kayaks are able to hold for short or multi week expeditions, avid kayaker and explorer Cesar Becerra's (www.planetcesar.com) next big voyage cares nothing about what his kayak can stow away. It's all about what he can pull BEHIND his kayak that makes his next large scale art project a first in using our beloved Kayak as more of an external delivery system than a vessel to deliver him around the bays off of Miami's liquid living room. By that we mean that the cargo is nothing less than 102 four by eight-foot tiles of art that will encompass and attach themselves to a moving 30 by 70 foot barge. The entire math has the kayaks (the project called Gator in the Bay will potentially rally nearly 100 kayakers) growing the gator with these tiles to a whopping 230 foot floating art piece at this December’s Art Basel Miami (the other Art Basel, the main one takes place each summer in Switzerland).
The piece is the brainchild of Lead Artist Lloyd Goradesky and the logistical project managing of Becerra who is slowly circumnavigating the state of Florida's 1,400 miles of coast line (look for future story).
"As I was paddling around a 200 mile section of Southeast Florida I noticed the beautiful bay's and how devoid they sometimes are, especially of big art." That was not always the case. Thirty years ago, internationally recognized artist Christo Javacheff surrounded 13 islands off the coast of Miami in pink fabric. Goradesky and Becerra's art (in the form of the iconic animal of Florida - the Alligator) plan to change that and inspire the next generation for using South Florida's massive bays as a great "canvas" to display art and make an important statement about the environment.
Goradesky, who has been photographing the Everglades for his entire artistic career explains further; "We have a mandate really to save the Everglades, they are beautiful and vital but they are not always in the greatest of health. We have used and abused them for so long that its a grand risk and experiment to restore them and so the gator, being a barometer species, we hope will also be a symbol that we must be vigilant in protecting them. Illuminating the public on these issues is a key component of the project."
Speaking of illumination: The kayak component is quite unique in that the evening process has both the Kayak and the paddlers inside them, delivering the art tiles to the barge as every inch of the paddles, kayak and person are "traced" in liquid neon "el" wire. "I love using non traditional medium in the creation of art, and the kayaks are an extension also of my love of kayaking in general.
The project will in part support the efforts of non-profit groups like Tremendous Miami who have planted more than 23,000 trees in the last decade. International fundraising for the gator project, which includes the 30 by 70 foot recycled steel head of the Gator and the 102 panels of floating tile art with Goradesky Everglades images has begun on Kickstarter. The group plans on raising $120,000 to "float" the gator.
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