By Ciara LaVelle
By Jose D. Duran
By Kat Bein
By Juan Barquin
By Ciara LaVelle
By George Martinez
By Kat Bein
By Ciara LaVelle
Florida Artists Series: R.F. Buckley and Clive King: FIU visual arts faculty members Buckley and King exhibit way too many artworks in a small museum. Overhung inevitably leads to overworked. In the case of Buckley, despite a few serendipitous still life elements, the forged and welded aluminum doesn't reward the effort he applies to its patina. King's totemic wicker sculptures and drawings over photocopies of archaeological/mythic figures have a jittery, animated quality but suffer from a feeling of being canned. His triptych Dispatches from the Nether Regions conveys his themes more directly, and a spontaneous use of materials makes it immediately more vivid. -- Michelle Weinberg Through August 15. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, University Park Campus. SW 107th Avenue and SW Eighth Street. 305-348-2890.
New Talent: Chris Babson, Lorena Cabrera, David Leroi: These three artists are toiling in well-trod territory. Babson's mannerist, naive style is limp. Cabrera's mannequin torsos with scraped and scratched surfaces are dull and familiar. Leroi's small-scale constructions depicting forlorn urban settings move beyond cliché as elements subvert expectations of scale, but the works become muddled in their narrative content. All would benefit from enlarging their respective artistic visions and taking greater risks. -- Michelle Weinberg Through August 30. Barbara Gillman Gallery, 3814 NE Miami Ct. 305-573-1920.
Alette Simmons-Jimenez: Stylized portraiture of pretty women in pensive poses combined with handwritten texts that evoke earnest diary entries -- the paintings and mixed-media works of Alette Simmons-Jimenez are crying out to be romance-novel book jackets. These pieces behave more as illustrations, a result of Simmons-Jimenez's repeated cycling of such refined literary icons as generic cityscapes, elements from nature (a shell, a flower), and ornamental typography. What's lacking is an eccentric, raw experience of any of these things -- the city, nature, the body, the mind's eye, passionate scrawling. Such familiar metaphors require more radical formal treatment to become alive, to become invested with authentic meaning. -- Michelle Weinberg Open-ended showing. artformz Studio/ Gallery, 130 NE 40th St. #2. 305-572-0040.
Spue: Robin Griffiths's sculpture exhibit at Dorsch Gallery is, in the context of today's sometimes-contrived art, a celebration of human invention. Part gallery-inside-a-gallery, part stage set for a Jules Verne movie, part mad scientist's cabinet of curiosities, part living-quarters-turned-art, Griffiths's sculptures pull you from different angles. Perhaps there's too much here, but it all makes sense because it's all about the métier. These are idiosyncratic displays of a life: Griffiths's high school jeans collection, his proto-modern yellow sofa, his guitar and stereo playing Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. It is art mimicking life, and vice versa -- but truly authentic. -- Alfredo Triff Through August 28. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St. 305-576-1278.
Upper Class: Hugo Tillman's exhibit seems to be one of the most creeped-out photography shows to come down the pike in a while. After all, who would willingly be surrounded by portraits of a bunch of fossilized blue bloods from Newport and Palm Beach who look like studies for Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum? Tillman's conceptual premise is simple enough: He poses and photographs the scions of America's vaunted WASP aristocracy. In an election year, when oil-slick dreams of dynasty abound in Washington, and the rift between the landed gentry and have-nots seems wider than ever, "Upper Class" is a show that is at once funny, scary, and politically relevant. -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus Through August 31. Marina Kessler Gallery, 2628 NW 2nd Ave. 305-573-6006, www.marinakessler.com.
Visions of Alfredo Ceibal: Are you ready for originality? Check out Alfredo Ceibal's show at Wild Seduction Gallery. Borrowing from primitive, surrealist, and pre-Columbian elements, Ceibal, a Guatemalan, makes subversive paintings with a twisted sense of geometry and a flair for innocence. Travel to places inside the corners of your mind, in the company of loving couples and curious children, but also sinning clergy, burning souls, and characters floating inside walls. There's always a window to enjoy Ceibal's slanted vistas or to exit right into the village of Comala (out of Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo), a town populated by the wandering souls of the dead. Ceibal's art will keep you off balance. -- Alfredo Triff Through August 29 by appointment. Wild Seduction Gallery, 2762 NW 22nd St. 305-633-8951.