Angel Valentin for The New York Times MIAMI BEACH — It is a jarring image: an enormous sprawl of a traffic jam on an idyllic stretch of champagne-colored beach. It is “ Order of Importance ,” the latest work of Leandro Erlich, an Argentine artist with a global following, and it will be unveiled shortly before Thursday’s opening of Art Basel Miami Beach. Mr. Erlich worries about the slow, steady heating of the planet. And his over-the-top traffic jam of life-size cars sculpted in sand is his way of trying to force people to really face the danger. “We have to do something,” he said. “Miami Beach is on the front line. Sea-level rise is a reality. Here we can see that climate change may affect the order of everything we have built.” Mr. Erlich, 46, is creating a scene that is somewhat familiar, yet vague. He is modeling his cars and trucks after those made by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota and others. But making them out of sand — the same color and texture as the beach site just beyond Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue — blurs their features and gives them a ghostly quality. They are designed to […]


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