Another artist worth attention is Miami's Lissette Schaeffler, who focuses her lens on the Magic City's seedy hot-sheet motels. For her By the Hour series, she snaps haunting photos of empty pay-by-the-hour sex dives, inviting viewers to an encounter with the sordid landscapes of the illicit quickie rendezvous.

"The show we had for the summer in 2011 was highly crowded," Minionis says. "There is no excuse for not putting on a show — or even more, a good show — because it's summer... Besides, our particular purpose is not only about selling but also about educating people about the art form and its latest trends, bringing a deeper appreciation."

At Hardcore Art Contemporary Space (72 NW 25th St., Miami; 305-576-1645; hardcoreartmiami.com), a visually striking solo show by young Cuban painter Carlos Gámez de Francisco appropriates the opulence and decadence of the last French monarchs while referencing his life in Cuba during the island's "Special Period," the economic crisis that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.

Curated by the Aluna Curatorial Collective, Adriana Herrera, and Willy Castellanos, the exhibit, titled "Radical Genealogy: The Decline of Dauphins, Courtesans, and Hounds," features animations, paintings, and drawings that aim to explore "the relationship between the Eros of power and the threat of destruction." On view are provocative, richly textured images of a stuck-up Robespierre, the last words of Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine.

Herrera, who is also an independent curator and an art critic for El Nuevo Herald, says, "Black humor serves as the narrative thread linking pictorial scenes in which the bloody and the absurd converge in ostentatious fashion."

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