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
False Start: Onlookers can discover rubberneck heaven while gawking at Timothy Buwalda's large oil-on-canvas paintings of car wrecks. His sumptuous works depict crumpled Beemers and Toyotas, their mangled husks rendered in excruciatingly clear detail. Buwalda's powerful paintings swing between photorealism and abstraction, delivering a haymaker. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through October 6. Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 2247 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-448-8976, www.snitzer.com.
Real Time and Under These Circumstances One Usually Loses a Shoe: Time's passage, the preciousness of human labor, the serendipity of finding something new in the old, and the banality of daily life converge in "Real Time," a group show featuring David Castillo's stable of artists. In the project room, Monika Zarzeczna's "Under These Circumstances One Usually Loses a Shoe" combines figurative and abstract elements in 31 eye-catching drawings in which whimsical figures are injected with narrative possibility in psychologically charged scenes. It appears Castillo wants to aim at the heart of our transitory experience, and in one fell swoop he connects. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through October 6. David Castillo Gallery, 2234 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8110, www.castilloart.com.
Variations on a Theme and What Makes a Boy Start Fires?: John Sanchez's evocative oil-and-acrylic-on-canvas paintings somberly depict desolate urban scenes as if snapped by a disposable camera through a drunken haze in the wee hours of the morning. Kyle Trowbridge injects high-octane fuel into the car crash theme, even including a burned-out pearlescent Volkswagen Beetle that was crisped on July's Friday the 13th. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through October 6. The Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-576-1278, www.dorschgallery.com.
Versus: Rising art star Susan Lee-Chun's solo show features a suite of knockout Lambda prints in which the artist battles with her kooky alter ego. A video monitor in the gallery's window facing the street features the blond-wigged Korean artist dressed in plaid schoolgirl garb while trying to peel the skin off an apple in one swipe. Occasionally a disembodied hand reached in from offscreen, whacking Lee-Chun in the noggin. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through October 6. Spinello Gallery, 2294 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-271-4223, www.spinellogallery.com.
Tropical Itch: Aesthetics of Scratching: Magnus Sigurdarson's trademark stacked-newspaper-and-video installations are featured along with a suite of nine gut-busting C-prints in which the pale-skinned, blond, blue-eyed Icelandic artist appears to have washed up on South Beach like a stunned mackerel. Titled I'm the Stranger, the photos depict a paunchy, bare-chested Sigurdarson as he is buffeted by waves on the seashore, appearing waterlogged as if he just dog-paddled the 3200 nautical miles here from Reykjavík. A whiff of the illegal immigration squawk underpins his hilarious scenes. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through October 10. Kevin Bruk Gallery, 2249 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-576-2000, www.kevinbrukgallery.com.
Wake Me Up When the Present Arrives: Over a 10-day period, Argentine artist Diego Bianchi trashed Locust Projects, filling the space with a battered boat hull, heaps of garbage, and a slick sheen of mud. Bianchi puts rock stars — and their lifetime hotel bans for taking wrecking balls to their rooms — to shame. Slapdash fountains arranged strategically across the filthy floor spew foamy streams of soap bubbles. Hundreds of LifeSavers candies dangle from fishing line, twirling like noxious snowflakes overhead. — Carlos Suarez de Jesus Through October 27. Locust Projects, 105 NW 23rd St, Miami; 305-576-8570, www.locustprojects.org.
Karen Kilimnik: The influential artist has a knack for picking at the scab of the national psyche. Beneath the deceptively saccharine blush of her artistic production oozes celebrity-addled America's obsession with Page Six gossip, fashion glossies, purple tabloid prose, and Court TV. Her work reminds us why a has-been wreck like O.J. Simpson can still dominate the 6:00 p.m. news. The first American survey of Kilimnik's career features more than 90 works spanning the past 20 years, including paintings, drawings, photographs, assemblage, and installations. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through November 12. Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211, www.mocanomi.org.