Kinetic sculptures hit Collins Park sand for Art Basel Miami Beach week

Dutch artist Theon Jansen shows off his mysterious creatures


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Self-propelled moving sculptures will be on display in Miami Beach from Wednesday through Sunday.

The "Strandbeests" exhibit includes three robotic like structures --  the "Animarus Apodiacula,"  the "Animarus Suspendisse" and the "Animarus Turgentia Vela." In Dutch, strand means beach and beest means beast.

Artist Theo Jansen, 66, has been using dynamic techniques to build his beasts for about two decades. He uses light materials such as wood, PVC pipes, rubber and plastic, and he uses Dacron sail cloth, so that they can move with the help of the wind.

 "Wind ... wind ... wind ...  if you repeat the word 'wind' often enough, it will start blowing," Jansen said in a press release. "The 'Strandbeests' have captivated a global audience and interest in them has grown at a viral rate."

His designs look like forms taken out of a Leonardo Da Vinci sketchbook, because of "the wide-ranging ambition and sheer protean inventiveness -- his avid facility at drawing, his leapfrogging, scientific bent mind," Lawrence Weschler, of The New York Times, said in his piece "Theo Jansen's Lumbering Life-Forms Arrive in America."

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., and Haute Horlogerie Manufacture Audemars Piguet are sponsoring the Dutch artist's exhibit in Miami Beach near The W hotel and The Setai hotel.

The beasts will be strolling near the beach from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., east of Collins Avenue, between 21st and 22nd Street. The only night the sculptures won't be on display until 8 p.m. is Friday when the exhibit closes at 4 p.m.