For Art Basel the natural sublimity of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden gets a touch of the absurd, with oversized and inorganic organic forms making viewers wonder if all this fresh air is making them a little woozy. Sculptor Will Ryman, known for toying with the scale of natural forms in his works, has created a zoological garden of giant roses, petals, ants and bees, dispersed throughout the garden.
The blatantly man-made replicas of organic forms add a mythical feeling to the garden, leaving viewers struggling to gage if the commodified sculptures are out of place or just right. Ryman commented: "Fairchild is a perfect place to unveil these new works, because it will highlight the alien or synthetic nature of the monochromes while emphasizing the natural beauty of the Garden." Himself having been influenced by absurdist playwrights and philosophers, he imbues the naturally serene landscape with a topsy-turvy vertigo.
Amongst the madness of Art Basel the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens provide a surreal oasis. It seems a world away from Basel's snapping cameras, clinking glasses and inescapable opulence. Yet its incorporation of the unexpected reminds viewers they are experiencing a journey through the contemporary landscape of art.