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Giant Flamingo art installation.
Giant Flamingo art installation.

Phoebe the Giant Flamingo

Field review by the editors.

Tampa, Florida

Artist Matthew Mazzotta has answered the unasked question: How can I tell if I've stepped off of a plane and arrived in Florida? The answer: a hyperreal sculpture of a 22-foot-tall flamingo in the main terminal building of Tampa International Airport.

Named "Phoebe" in a January 2023 contest (short for Phoenicopterus, the flamingo's scientific name), the sculpture features only the head, neck, and skinny legs of the giant bird. A mirrored ceiling above the sculpture mimics the water when seen from below, and hidden spotlights recreate the dappled pattern of sunlight reaching the floor. In this mega-universe, you're underwater.

Airline passengers are supposed to be charmed by Phoebe and pose next to the flamingo's giant head, which has dipped beneath the surface to feed -- on people?

Phoebe the Giant Flamingo

Tampa International Airport

4160 George J. Bean Pkwy, Tampa, FL
Tampa International Airport. Inside the main terminal building, near The Shoppes at Bayshore.
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