Under normal circumstances, an alien spaceship hovering above an impressionist cityscape is a sure sign of a forger on acid. In this case, however, we're talking about "Paredolia," a series of oil and gouache paintings by New York City artist Derek Buckner at the Miami-Dade County Main Library through September 26.
Executed in a flurry of hazy pastels that's reminiscent of late-life Monet, UFOs are randomly inserted into otherwise benign scenes, jarring the viewer with a shot of fear, tingles of paranoia, or a cheap laugh. There's the question, though, whether what we're seeing is actually there. Is this trompe l'oeil? What kinds of mind tricks are being played on us? Maybe Buckner was ripped on LSD? After all, paredolia is the clinical name for that psychological phenomenon where people misinterpret sketchy shapes and incidental patterns, seeing the Virgin Mary in the burned crust of their grilled cheese sandwich or a human face screaming in the cratered surface of the moon. In other words, your eyes could be lying.
July 12-Sept. 26, 9 a.m., 2010