Advertisement
  1. Travel

Seen Instagram-worthy Seven Magic Mountains? There's a version in Florida.

The Nevada desert is nothing like Miami Beach — except that they’re both home to neon mountains by artist Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Ileana Morales Valentine stands next to Rondinone’s Miami Mountain. [Photo by Danny Valentine]
Published Jun. 13

MIAMI BEACH — You may have double-tapped Seven Magic Mountains on Instagram. Beyoncé and Jay-Z visited the towering stacks of multicolored boulders in the mountainous state of Nevada.

But even more shocking than those colors? Flat Florida has a neon mountain of its own.

Miami Mountain stands outside the Bass contemporary art museum. This single pillar in Miami Beach's Collins Park is part of the series by Ugo Rondinone, a Swiss artist based in New York and the same artist behind Seven Magic Mountains.

The 42-foot-tall sculpture is striking in its magnitude and fluorescent hues, which the artist describes as aggressively DayGlo. The museum acquired the piece in 2016, kicking off a 10-year initiative to add international contemporary art to its permanent collection.

It puts residents and tourists face-to-face with art, whether they intended to see it or not. And it's just what the artist wanted.

All his sculptural work is inspired by nature, Rondinone has said, and this series was inspired directly by hoodoo rock formations in the North American Badlands. The mountains are simple and accessible to people who may not regularly experience art. With their impressive stature and incongruity of bright hues on a natural material, they're instantly attractive.

"You don't have to understand an artwork," Rondinone said. "You just have to feel it."

It's hard to keep from smiling in front of the mountain. You can actually touch the boulders, too. (Just don't climb or harm the rocks.) And, by all means, pose for a photo. There are more than 1,700 public photos tagged #MiamiMountain, and more selfies are welcome.

Though Rondinone's Seven Magic Mountains and Miami Mountain look very similar in pictures, there are some differences. In Nevada, the rocks are limestone. In hurricane-prone Florida, they're granite. Miami Mountain stands alone, but it's taller than the group of stacked stones out west. And while Seven Magic Mountains incorporates black, silver and white amid the flashes of color, the hues in Miami would match a pack of highlighters.

When Rondinone first visited the square in Miami Beach, he noted an absence of color beyond the tropical whites and greens, so he sought to contribute a palette of neon rainbow for this commissioned work.

The Miami pillar is the first permanent installation in Rondinone's series. The installation in Nevada was intended as a two-year exhibit but has been extended through the end of 2021. Another installation in the series was unveiled in Liverpool in 2018.

As striking as the mountains are in Nevada's desert, they also command attention in the context of Collins Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Miami Beach with walkable access to hotels, shopping, restaurants and the beach. Most days it's fairly easy to visit the monument without encountering other admirers visiting for a photo at the same time.

"Here in Miami Beach, it's a landmark," said Julia Rudo, a spokeswoman for the Bass. "It's iconic."

Contact Ileana Morales Valentine at ileanamvalentine@gmail.com.

If you go

Miami Mountain is at the corner of Collins Avenue and 21st Street in Miami Beach, just outside the Bass museum, 2100 Collins Ave. It is free to visit the sculpture, but fans of Ugo Rondinone's work will likely enjoy the contemporary art exhibits inside the museum. General tickets for the Bass start at $10. Metered parking is available surrounding Collins Park, and nearby hourly garages are at 18th Street and Meridian Avenue, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, 20th Street and Liberty Avenue.

Miami Mountain is within walking distance of the Miami Beach Boardwalk, many South Beach hotels and the Miami Beach Regional Library. It's a half-mile from Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the Fillmore and the Miami Beach Convention Center.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Visitors ride the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Tampa theme park Busch Gardens, which has put its 2020 Fun Card on sale early. AP/Busch Gardens
    Buy your 2020 Busch Gardens or SeaWorld Fun Card and get a few months free, plus more sales for Florida residents.
  2. Tampa theme park Busch Gardens has announced a new hybrid wooden and steel coaster coming in 2020: Iron Gwazi. At more than 200 feet tall, the under-construction ride will become North America's tallest hybrid coaster, and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The parks revealed a slate of new attractions aimed to steady the company’s future.
  3. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. Universal Orlando
    Death Eaters, Voldemort and other creepy creatures from the world of Harry Potter star in the nighttime display.
  4. Actors emerge from a simulated farmhouse at the center of the Infected haunted house at Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    You can also catch a talk from Dick Vitale at St. Petersburg theater the Palladium.
  5. Chewbacca stands in front of the Millennium Falcon at the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Orlando. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Social media was awash this week with Disney and Star Wars fans breezing through Galaxy’s Edge as Hurricane Dorian pushed many from theme parks.
  6. Sand sharks swim around the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. As a Hurricane Dorian stress reliever, the Channel District aquarium will provide $15 admission through Friday. JULIETTE LYNCH  |  Tampa Bay Times (2011)
    The $15 ticket deal aims to be a stress reliever after a week of hurricane preparation.
  7. A ghost orchid can be seen, near the center of the frame, on a tree in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 in Naples. The ghost orchid spends most of the year looking like a nondescript green lump on the side of a tree. CHRIS URSO   |   Times CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    To see this “super ghost orchid” you don’t even need to get your feet wet.
  8. Lauren and Steven Keys at the entrance sign to Haleakala National Park in Maui. Keys Photography
    Lauren and Steven Keys finished before the 103rd anniversary of the National Park Service last week.
  9. Key West Rapids, a waterside at Tampa water park Adventure Island since 1995, will close after Oct. 1. ANTHONY ALLRED  |  Tampa Bay Times (2011)
    The water park next to Busch Gardens plans to replace the inner-tube attraction in 2020. Its last day of operation is Oct. 1.
  10. Photos: What you will see when you visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement