Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Gator In The Bay' - A gargantuan public art project by Miami-based artist Lloyd Goradesky

The purpose of 'Gator In The Bay' is to raise awareness for the Florida Everglades. Miami-based artist and photographer Lloyd Goradesky created this colossal floating reptile - a giant 100 foot gator, the length of a football field, which can be seen this December on the waters of Biscayne Bay from the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island when Art Basel Miami Beach rips into town Dec.5-8, 2o13.

With a head that towers as high as a three-story condo, the gator will have a massive maw built around the boom of a crane that will snap open and closed. The skull, created from steel and recycled materials, will be a sculpture that stands on a barge. 

The body of the gator is another masterpiece altogether, which consists of 104 tiles, each four feet wide and eight feet long, made of highly buoyant material that Goradesky calls "floating art tile". 

Each of these 104 tiles or sections of the animal's body is emblazoned with 5,000 unique, postage-stamp size images that create the illusion of an alligator when seen from afar. Goradesky used more than 100,000 digital images that he shot in the Everglades for the gator's body. It's one of the largest photo mosaics ever created in the world. If you look closely at these images, you'll see turtles mating, otters eating fish, panthers on the prowl, and everything else under the sun that goes on within the ecosystem of the Everglades.

The 'Gator In The Bay' project is a major public art project intended to raise awareness for the fragile nature of the Florida Everglades and reflect the cooperation between industry and the local environment. 

Goradesky has been photographing wildlife in the Everglades for more than two decades. Last year he showed the head of the gator during Art Basel, but this year the public can experience the completed "Lego-style" shape of the alligator as it floats on Biscayne Bay. Goradesky chose the iconic reptile for his Basel opus because the creature is a barometer of our ecological health.

One of the 104 tiles is currently on display at The Gallery @ McCormick Place in Downtown, Miami - located at 111 SW 3rd Street, Miami FL 33130. The tile is stunning and massive, to be able to see this 4 ft. x 8 ft. piece in person is an amazing experience - you can begin to visualize the scope of the project from simply viewing one tile, and appreciate the beauty of the mosaic collage of Goradesky's images of the Everglades, which collectively create the "skin" of the gator one tile at a time.

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