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
Art on Paper: Drawing on paper, against the wall, falling, piled up -- as if a sign of our city's battered landscape. This is one aspect of Pedro Vizcaíno's art. Then there's the inventiveness, expressed with anxious, obsessive gestures and filled with witty references. The lucubrations behind Vizcaíno's graffitilike, trashy style can be misunderstood as shoddy. But he's right on target: We live in an era of guns, violence, and war. I've never seen the handgun so anthropomorphized: turned into myriad faces, growing light bulbs and limbs, making love, or shooting at each other in consternation. Don't miss Vizcaíno's "shoe series," in which, instead of pleading for sympathy, the artist gives social anomie and complacency the "big toe." -- Alfredo Triff Through October 3 by appointment. Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., Suite 216, Miami. 786-487-4092.
Dondi and the Band of Gypsies' Greatest Hits: I wasn't persuaded by William Cordova's guitar-smashing video, now showing in the project room at Locust Projects. Guitar smashing (set to the sappy music of Air Supply's hit "All Out of Love") can be seen as cliché, but it remains as valid to hard rock as blues riffs. It is "metal," but it is also "punk" (think of Ramones or Sex Pistols). I have no problem with it being white (as in "displaced" Anglo proletariat), though it's not so exclusively. Who would suggest that psychedelic Jimi Hendrix's smashing and burning antics aren't pertinent in a world where pointless violence is watered down as "fighting back"? I don't blame Cordova's wit, but rather his generation's lack of genuine symbols. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 8. Locust Projects, 105 NW 23rd St., Miami. 305-576-8570.
Existential Gravitation: Carlos Estévez's art is geometric and almost metaphysical. His craft is clean but not plain. "Existential Gravitation" retains a baroque whim in these monochromatic oils in which Estévez's preferred forms (circle and triangle) never really stir these puppetlike figures; they seem detached. A nave world of beings, flat, predetermined, driven by pure well-thought-out design. If they lived, they would lack complex emotions; they'd exist as essences rather than accidents. No mistakes, no regrets -- a neat world of body parts functioning in an orderly but hollow manner. It's here that an artist's intention matters as a sign there's more to this than a well-executed formal plan. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 9. Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, 3080 SW 38th Ct., Coral Gables. 305-774-5969.
Helene Brandt: The idea of movement in sculpture is always a challenge as the medium is intrinsically static. Helene Brandt makes kinetic, quasi-futurist welded-steel pieces. These slender structures also look Gothic, which is to say anthropomorphic. In addition she borrows from early photography. If all this seems bizarre, wait till you see her current show. Brandt's models are actually miniatures of pieces, some of which are meant to be enlarged 30 times their original size. It helps to know that Brandt was a former student of dance master Martha Graham. Her art is about elasticity and her presentation invites contemplation of movement. Sit down and enjoy, courtesy of gallerist Bernice Steinbaum's own modern wood stools. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 2. Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 3550 N Miami Ave., Miami. 305-573-2700.
I Can't Believe They're Real: Jay Oré brings back issues of planetary solitude mixed with plain stellar humor. Among conspiratorialists UFOs and aliens have been man's best-kept secret since the atomic bomb and -- during the mid-Twentieth Century -- our enemies, though not as menacing as modern-day terrorists. You're in for a treat here. Oré's photo collage is so labor-intensive as to put him in the same league with artist Tom Friedman. Oré is a prestidigitator of images, and a patient collagist, turning all sorts of menial lights into veritable UFO spacescapes, with which humans seem to interact quizzically at best. "Too many contacts have been made, only we haven't heard," I can hear Oré saying, along with Jeff Morrow in This Island Earth. The truth is we'll never stop looking up for clues. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 9. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. 305-576-1278.
Reconstituted Landscape: Isaac Asimov once implied that the microcosm and the macrocosm are one and the same. This becomes apparent in Matthew Picton's "Reconstituted Landscape," now on display at Damien B. Contemporary Art Center. Picton's installation of cell-like lattices in red, purple, gray, and orange, takes over the gallery space. They hang from dozens of Slinkies on a frame and rise from the gallery floor through the walls. The well-realized environment evokes a gigantic synapse transmission, as if inside a huge brain, reminiscent of Richard Fleischer's aesthetic vision in Fantastic Voyage. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 20. Damien B. Contemporary Art Center, 282 NW 36th St., Miami. 305-573-4949.