“MATERIALISM MADE MY WALLET GROW FANGS,” was seen by thousands from Miami Beach to Hollywood Beach.
Artist, poet, and Revolving Museum Director Jerry presented “Onto UMMM…Public Art-Poetry Project,” event on South Beach for the opening of Art Basel yesterday, December 6, 1:00 – 2:00 PM. Beck, musician and singer Paulina Labowitz, and artist Coraly Rivera engaged a large public audience on the beach as single propellor plane flew Beck’s poem along the shore.
“Many people pointed fingers, took pictures with their cell phones, most smiled while others looked confused,” said Hollywood born Beck, “Certainly the hot weather of buzzing South Beach and Art Basel was the ideal place to shed light on issues of materialism.”
“The commodity-focused art world has never really interested me. I was always inspired to transform unusual public spaces with multi-disciplinary approaches to art-making that includes public participation. It has been through collaborating with artists, youth, and community members that I feel art has the potential to be a catalyst for change and creative revolution,” Beck added.
“I really appreciate Jerry’s response to Art Basel and South Beach. It was the perfect place and time to make a statement about materialism. Art Basel is certainly where there is plenty of glorified materialism. Jerry’s art is more about personal, social, ecological, political, and spiritual issues. He invites the public not to be passive but active participants and collaborators in his aesthetic process,” said artist Coraly Rivera who interpreted the project to Spanish-speaking audience members.
Attached to a single propeller advertising plane, Beck created a guerrilla-style public artwork featuring his controversial and humorous short poem.
Art Basel is the world’s premier Modern and Contemporary Art Fair committed to the engagement of the “art-world,” including museum directors, curators, private collectors, advisors, and internationally known artists.
Beck’s public art project consists of a series of short poems presented on billboards, architecture, snow, historic places, TV commercials, and other unusual public spaces throughout the U.S. They tend to be humorous, dreamy, political and optimistic. The year-long project will also encourage the public to create short poems. Last week, Beck used an abandoned space in Fitchburg, Massachusetts to present “EVERY BOOK BEGINS BY RUBBING TWO GOOD LINES TOGETHER”.
“Poetry in public places can be extremely powerful in provoking emotions. In today’s world of tweets, cell phone text messages, quotes, and political slogans, this project invites the public to use poetry as a form of revolution. My short poems offer satirical and critical insights into American popular culture that respond to personal, social,” said Beck.
“Our family grew up playing on Hollywood Beach,” said Jerry Beck’s mother, Sandra Beck Bernstein. “I remember Jerry building sand castles, collecting shells and making sand drawings, creating coconut head art, and enjoying the advertising airplanes that flew over the ocean. It is so funny how one’s childhood can affect a person’s future.”