By Ciara LaVelle
By George Martinez
By Kat Bein
By Ciara LaVelle
By Travis Cohen
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Monica McGivern
By Travis Cohen
Astral Cumulo Uber Express: Kenny Scharf’s exhibit at the Kevin Bruk Gallery harks back to the Fifties. 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 Jesus Through June 1. Kevin Bruk Gallery, 2249 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-576-2000, www.kevinbrukgallery.com.
James Rosenquist: Traveling at the Speed of Light: At the Miami Art Museum, the New Work Gallery is featuring eight paintings by James Rosenquist. The artist, a pioneer of the Sixties American Pop Art movement, is known for creating massive works influenced by an early stint painting commercial billboards in Times Square. The exhibit includes pieces from 1987 to 2004 and fluidly mixes obscure fragments of imagery in overlapping relationships between the abstract and real, creating a visual experience that toys with perception. This is Rosenquist's first U.S. museum show since his 40-year retrospective at New York's Guggenheim in 2003, and it showcases a pair of paintings that have never been exhibited in the U.S. Many of the works reflect the artist's examination of current issues and his interests in space, technology, and science. For those who haven't experienced Rosenquist's work up close and personal, these paintings, intimately packed into a cozy space, offer a rare view. Carlos Suarez De JesusThrough July 2. Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000, www.miamiartmuseum.org.
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.
Uncensored Life: Raw Beauty: Sabrina Cohen's portrait on display at the Dorsch Gallery is striking, but her story yanks the rug from under you. The 28-year-old Sandra Bullock look-alike has spent half her life in a wheelchair. "I was fourteen at the time of my accident," the quadriplegic explains. Cohen is one of twenty women whose disabilities range from multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy to visual impairment who posed for an unusual and compelling photography exhibit. Organizers say women with disabilities are often depicted as helpless victims or as heroines overcoming insurmountable odds. They hope this project will help transform stereotypical perceptions of females with physical and sensory challenges, nearly 250,000 of whom live in Miami-Dade. The most arresting image in the show is that of Tatiana Ribeiro, a beautiful woman whose spinal cord was injured when she was a teenager. The piece pierces the spectator with a sense of vulnerability and dignity. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through June 2. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-576-1278, www.dorschgallery.com.