*

upload_article_image

Miami Beach unveils traffic sculpture made of sand

It took artist Leandro Erlich two years and 330 tons (299 metric tons) of sand to create his largest work of art to date — a giant traffic jam, made entirely of sand.

Erlich was commissioned by the city of Miami Beach to create the work, which was unveiled during Art Basel. The surreal traffic jam depicts 66 life-sized sculptures of cars and trucks stuck in an imaginary traffic jam on the oceanfront of popular Lincoln Road.

The installation is meant to suggest a future relic, like a contemporary Pompeii, and alludes to Florida’s fragile position in the large universal canvas, touching on climate crisis and rising sea levels.

People walk among cars sculpted in sand stuck in a traffic jam, titled Order of Importance by artist Leandro Erlich, as part of Miami Art Week, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. Erlich was commissioned by the city of Miami Beach to create the work, which was unveiled during Art Basel Miami. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

The installation cost over a million dollars, but the city paid $300,000 thanks to sponsors and donations. It will remain on display until Dec. 15.

People walk among cars sculpted in sand stuck in a traffic jam, titled Order of Importance by artist Leandro Erlich, as part of Miami Art Week, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. Erlich was commissioned by the city of Miami Beach to create the work, which was unveiled during Art Basel Miami. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

Christof Habres, of Vienna, Austria, photographs artwork by the artist Olafur Eliasson displayed at the neugerriemschneider Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla.The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

Fair goers wear clothing with the words No Cash Value during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla.The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

A woman walks past a sculpture by artist Austin Lee at the Peres Projects Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

Artist Lynx Alexander, of New York, wears a tie he made as he walks among artwork during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

A cast iron sculpture by Ai Weiwei is displayed at the neugerriemschneider Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

Artwork by Zanele Muholi is displayed at the Stevenson Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual exhibition features artwork from over 200 of the world's modern and contemporary art galleries. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)