By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Astral Cumulo Uber Express: Kenny Scharf's exhibit at the Kevin Bruk Gallery harks back to the Fifties. During the era in which the Soviets sent Sputnik hurtling across the sky, America's obsession with space was limited to watching Annette Funicello fill out her bra on The Mickey Mouse Club an era when cool jazz and blue suede shoes rocked the airwaves and many believed the new superpower on the block reigned supreme. Scharf has tricked out a 1960 Cadillac coupe, one of the most iconic designs of the era, in a giddy fusion of modern design and contemporary art that pokes fun at duck-and-cover classroom drills, threats of atomic rain, fear of the Red Menace, and those rip-snorting drive-in movies like Teenagers from Outer Space. In a world where global ascendancy seems to revolve around the control of oil reserves, this clunker delivers a stinging reminder that though lofty dreams of yesteryear may have run out of gas, we still suffer from bozos in government itching to hog the steering wheel. Carlos Suarez De JesusThrough June 1. Kevin Bruk Gallery, 2249 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-576-2000, www.kevinbrukgallery.com
Borrowed World: The exhibit is split into two distinct viewing spaces, with sculptural works on one side and Paredes's performance photo pieces on the other. One of the more interesting Cibachrome prints, Gnome, depicts the nude artist in a vibrantly hued emerald forest clearing. Her body, painted white, sprouts a pair of black-and-white wings. She squats under a tree covered in thick, ropey vines as sunlight filters like tiny needles through a dense canopy of leaves. It seems that in the deepest recesses of her mind, Paredes is navigating toward a space for reinvention, for liberating clarity, for disappearance; toward a place where she can magically change her world. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through May 8. Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-574-1804, www.dlfinearts.com.
Natalia Benedetti: Luminosity: This exhibit is the artist's first solo museum show and comprises two videos on continuous loops projected onto nine-by-twelve-foot screens. One work depicts Benedetti skydiving; the other is a fluid study of sunlight as it ripples across the surface of a lake. Both videos are shown together, which creates an engulfing experience enhanced by a soundtrack of rushing wind. Sublimely thrilling, the sensory-seducing sounds and vast expanse of sun-dappled water on one screen next to the gorgeous blue sky and shimmering coastline on the other transport the spectator to a space somewhere between Heaven and Earth. Benedetti has parachuted into her first solo museum show with head-turning aplomb. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through June 4. MoCA at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St., Miami; 305-893-6211, www.mocanomi.org.