By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Ric Delgado
By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
All My Lies Are Wishes: Rubén Torres-Llorca is a conceptualist with superb craftsmanship. His photo series features blurred images, laid-over symbols, and tangential titles. They work like a personal domestic still-life sequence, though a bit cryptic. The show's pièce de résistance is a spider-web installation, made of rope and filled with pegs and bound figurines as prey -- and it pays to decode this one. The web has a wooden human ear at its center. Is Torres-Llorca conjuring up a correlation between hearing and loss of self-determination? -- AT Through May 23. Mosquera Orthodontics, 1245 SW 87th Ave., Westchester. 305-264-3355.
Love & Slavery in Miami: Willie Keddell is an artist who tills the fields of perception. The urban furrows of marginality are his seedbed of imagination. His work's soulful aesthetic is abundant with concrete decay, the graffiti of untrod spaces, and the plaintive lament of the dispossessed. With assistance from a crew of "at risk" teenage apprentices from the Troy Community Academy, Keddell has brought an artist's sensibility to the tangled history of two Miami landmarks -- the William English plantation slave house/Fort Dallas, and the Wagner homestead, now located in Lummus Park by the Miami River. "Love & Slavery in Miami" is a project exhibiting historical documentation and photography of the landmarks' pasts, as well as a performance piece based on the lives of the Wagner family. -- CSJ Ongoing. Tours every Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.; Saturdays by appointment. Lummus Park, 404 NW Second St. 305-638-7008 (Keddell at Troy Community Academy).
Micro.wave: Miscellaneous work, unconnected fragments, themes, and mediums. Is it art's apparent confusion (or beauty) as a reflection of life as we see it? Possibly. "Micro.wave" presents the work of a bunch of talented artists (mostly) from Miami and the result is one of the most engaging exhibits I've seen at Books & Books. The list of artists is too long to mention each of them, but their photos, drawings, installations, sculptures, and paintings are all nicely hung in a passageway connecting the children's book section and the patio. -- AT Through May 7. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. 305-442-4408.
Pedro Ruiz: Utilizing photography, magazines, and other source materials, painters have long employed overhead projectors to trace imagery onto canvas or paper for hyperreal impact. And although the images in this exhibition of Pedro Ruiz's new work lack a unifying theme, their saving grace may be his attention to the application of paint and the brushwork, both of which he executes with skill. In the project room, Sarah Beddington's Goldspin, three looped videos transferred to DVD, isolate traces of daily life in what appear to be restaurant and hotel settings. She treats the viewer to an experience one might describe as yoga for the eyes. Curator Carolina Wonder's decision to drown out the sound in one of these videos heightens this effect. -- CSJ Through May 8. Casas Riegner Gallery, 25 NE 39th St. 305-573-8242.
Ralph Provisero: You must see Provisero's "New Work" at the Dorsch Gallery. Executed with huge maple-wood slabs and imposing iron beams (painted black), this is one of the best sculpture shows I've seen in Miami in years. It gives us the artist's creative process from conception to execution. Provisero's tubular abstract structures borrow a bit from Joel Shapiro, industrial mechanics, and kinetic art, but above all from graffiti art. The pieces, which carry Italian titles, are large and weighty, yet they look light and gracious. Provisero (who returned to art-making after a brief hiatus) has a deep sense of balance and elegance of form. -- AT Through May 22. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St. 305-576-1278.
Scream: 10 Artists x 10 Writers x 10 Scary Movies: Curated by Fernanda Arruda and Michael Clifton, "Scream" addresses a variety of horrors influencing contemporary art. In addition to the work in the exhibit, which traveled here from New York, the curators invited ten writers to contribute essays on the participating artists, published in a catalogue that also lists a horror film chosen by each artist. (The films are available for viewing.) David Altmejd's mangled-werewolf sculpture has grisly sex appeal enhanced by a glam coating of rhinestones, rotting stardust, and garish jewelry. Amy Sarkisian's Toy Skull Reconstructions, squalid busts with bad skin, bad teeth, and ridiculous hair pieces, are gruesome, repulsive, and despicable. -- CSJ Through July 3. Moore Space, second floor, 4040 NE Second Ave. 305-438-1163.
Small Retrospective: In Buñuel's Viridiana, a hand crawls into the protagonist's chamber. It's not a dream. For the Cuban artist known as Gory (Rogelio López Marín), truth can accommodate magic, and his photographic images are impossible and bewildering. This art has craft and a sense of poetry. Gory's "Small Retrospective" is a show of works spanning two decades. See photos of horses running wildly in New York's streets, locomotives carrying weird mannequins on the sea, a priceless Picasso resting next to a fence in an abandoned parking lot, and doves witnessing our civilization. Gory employs a bit of pittura metafisica style, blended with technological gusto. Photographs and paintings often don't go together, as this show proves. -- AT Through May 8. Chelsea Gallery, 32 NE 39th St. 305-576-2950.