“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.”
Art & Poetry project will be presented on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 1:00 -2:00 PM between 1st and 24th Street in Miami Beach
 
Other short poems Beck has created in public spaces this year include: 
 
Leonardo Da Vinci
Started
With Crayons
 
 
Failure Is A Lover 
In The 
Hands Of Artists 
 
 
Paradise Exists
But Mosquitoes
Got There First
 
 
Endangered Species 
Called Tarzan’s 
800 Number
 
 
Everybody Has A 
Magic Trick Trying 
To Cut You In Half
 
 
   
About the artist
Jerry Beck is a nationally recognized artist, educator, museum director, and community leader. He founded The Revolving Museum (TRM) in 1984 with “The Little Train That Could…Show,” a public art project revitalizing 12 abandoned railroad cars. Since then, TRM has coordinated hundreds of large-scale participatory projects and has received national recognition as a pioneer in the field of collaborative public art, educational programs, urban revitalization, and creative economy projects. These works fostered a dialogue between art, the urban and natural environment, site history and social concerns in order to create a sense of community between artists and the public. 
 
In 2007, Beck and The Revolving Museum received the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Commonwealth Award in the category of “Community,” the state’s highest honors in the arts, humanities and sciences. In 2012, The Revolving Museum was a finalist for The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (Selection committee included: National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, learning opportunities to young people.) Additionally, Beck has received several National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Grants. 
 
Beck has had many one person and group exhibitions including at The American Visionary Art Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, American Textile History Museum, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, Florida State University Museum of Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Boston Center for the Arts, Artists Space, Capp Street Project, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Howard Yezerski Gallery, Cape Cod Community College Higgins Art Gallery, Hartford Artworks Gallery, and numerous site-specific artworks in such unusual abandoned sites including a civil war fort on an island, 100 year old rum cellar, baseball field, movie theater, textile mills, homeless shelter, smokestacks, alleyways, ice-cream truck and bookmobile, and the largest and oldest mica mine in the US. 
 
Beck has a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Tufts University in partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, Florida.