Hundreds of colorful animals are taking over the Miami Dade College Freedom Tower Friday night at the opening of the ForEverglades exhibit, coinciding with Art Basel.
Red alligators, almost 20 feet long, will guard the entrance to the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd., with nine alligators scaling the Freedom Tower.
ForEverglades is an installation created by artist William Sweetlove of Belgium and the Cracking Art Group of Italy.
“The underlying mission is to change art history through both a strong social and environmental commitment and the revolutionary and innovative use of different plastic materials that evoke a strict relationship between natural life and artificial reality,” said Lara Gallardo, public relations manager.
Sweetlove uses recycled aluminum on the animal figures he made and painted them in colors that include gold, pink, tortoise and purple.
The alligators, frogs and turtles are armed with backpacks, Evian water bottles and shoes, prepared for the day their environment may be wiped out. Sweetlove and the Cracking Art Group depict fisherman wearing beanies as a negative symbol, killing off the animals.
“The fisherman is the only negative figure, because they are the hunters,” said curator Gloria Porcella. “In fact they are very ugly.”
With 2013 the year of Italian culture for the United States, ForEverglades will be the debut exhibition for Italy. The opening reception is 7 p.m. Friday and a symposium on art and environmental activism is available from 10 a.m. to noon Friday.
A preview opens on Thursday at Saks Fifth Avenue at Dadeland Mall, including the snails that slithered into Miami in 2010. Turtles, rabbits and other animals will be joining them as well.
The exhibit will be open until Jan. 26.