“I was skeptical at first, I wanted to see if NFTs would have more than five minutes of life,” conceded the Miami multimedia artist Carlos Betancourt, one of the few established local talents to have embraced the new blockchain-based medium. He said the key to his comfort was finding a platform, Aorist, with a curator, Ximena Caminos, who was already a longtime supporter of his work. That, and Aorist’s willingness to produce a real-life version of his seen-only-on-a-screen NFT piece “What Lies Beneath,” which spotlights global warming’s rapid melting of the polar ice caps. The result, whose sale will benefit a local underwater sculpture park, is a pair of faux icebergs — one of which is 20 feet high and 30 feet wide, wrapped in collages of Sven-Olof Lindblad’s photos of actual icebergs, and set afloat in the oceanfront pool of Miami Beach’s Faena Hotel.
While room rates at the Faena — starting at $3,300 a night, $5,500 for an ocean view — may limit the audience for “What Lies Beneath,” it’ll still be hard to avoid seeing Betancourt’s artwork and its varied styles around Miami next week. “Into The Everglades,” his animated silhouettes of Florida wildlife, will lope nightly across the side of downtown’s 35-story-high InterContinental Miami hotel; “Milagro!,” a 38-foot-long string of 245 handcrafted charms, commissioned by the city of Miami Beach, will hang across a busy city boulevard; and two of his photos — homoerotic portraits of both himself and his longtime partner and collaborator, the architect Alberto Latorre — will be featured in a group show, “Skin in the Game,” inside a Beach storefront.
His ubiquity, Betancourt said, is proof that Miami’s museums and collectors alike have finally embraced the city’s own artists, prodded by Art Basel’s attention to made-in-Miami work. “People had an inferiority complex here for many years,” he continued, recalling his arrival from Puerto Rico as a teenager in 1980, discovering an art scene that too often looked elsewhere for direction. The shift is evident next week as local institutions proudly exhibit work steeped in Miami’s social fabric.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/24/arts/design/art-basel-miami-beach-betancourt.html396