By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
A Latin lover, a mysterious coven of wild women, a frolic in a candy-colored fun house, and an all-female group show riffing on how the unseen can powerfully shape perception, are just a few of the offerings making this weekend's Second Saturday arts romp a sizzling ticket before the dog days of summer.
When Shaun El C. Leonardo (the self-assumed middle name stands for "El Conquistador") is not wearing a mask, cape, and tights while flying through the air lucha libre style, you'll find him as chulo papi, sporting a snazzy suit and patent leather kicks while wildly wiggling his hips to a searing meringue beat to impress the ladies.
This weekend, Leonardo, accompanied by his macho, flexing alter ego, brings his explorations of Latin machismo to Praxis International Art (2219 NW Second Ave., Miami) during "Sleeping Giant," his first solo exhibition in the Magic City, featuring paintings of armor-clad warriors, hulking athletes, and iconic superheroes. Leonardo hopes to get Wynwood's collective ass quaking. Call 305-573-2900 or visit praxis-art.com.
Naomi Fisher's long-anticipated exhibit at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2247 NW First Pl., Miami) represents a group of women's mytho-poetic journey into the Florida wilderness. At times its haunting nature is reminiscent of the ancient mystery cults in which priestesses conducted Arcadian rituals for the rebirth of nature from generation to generation.
Driven by a hypnotic drum score, Fisher's 16-minute video, Myakka, filmed over a two-week period at the Myakka River State Park, depicts the women roaming the wetlands and prairies. They wear torn T-shirts, diaphanous thrift-store garb, and fierce face paint as they gather under a dense tangle of trees. In the gallery, Fisher is exhibiting an accompanying suite of paintings and drawings inspired by the video, which is projected on a gallery wall. Call 305-448-8976 or visit snitzer.com.
Best known for creating a gargantuan 20-by-40-foot boombox during last year's edition of Art Basel, Adrian Sonni has returned to his favorite urban haunts and waved a Walter Mitty-esque wand over Wynwood, creating an eye-popping site-specific installation promising to transport viewers to their fondest memories of childhood.
"Let's Play," at Primary Projects (4141 NE Second Ave., Ste. 104, Miami), showcases Sonni's Rainbow Brite-hued fun house chock full of happy murals, peppy paintings, whimsical watercolors, drawings, and sculptures that will leave spectators recalling those carefree hours spent finger-painting in kindergarten. The event at 7 p.m. is free and will crank up the good vibes with complimentary beverages by Bacardi. Call 954-801-3945 or visit primaryflight.com.
In "Sum of the Parts," a group show of female artists represented by the David Castillo Gallery (2234 NW Second Ave., Miami), features new works by Kate Gilmore, Quisqueya Henriquez, Susan Lee-Chun, Jillian Mayer, and Xaviera Simmons.
Gilmore's Walk This Way depicts what appears to be a woman's high-heeled shoe busting through a gallery wall. Lee-Chun weighs in with Split Pedestal, a large sculpture punctuated by a pair of female legs peeking from its bottom, suggesting the shapely stems of a prima ballerina trapped inside the pedestal's base. Call 305-573-8110 or visit davidcastillogallery.com.
The works on display combine to challenge the spectator's sense of perception and the gaps of information or accuracy the mind seeks.