NeckFace, the graffiti ghoul who has earned international street cred as the budding Rembrandt of the repulsive and ribald, has brought his nightmarish vision to the Big Mango to wrack the spine with a chilly frisson of dread. In one of the gallery's rooms, the artist has covered adjacent walls floor to ceiling with two full-color, tractor-trailer-size photo murals of men with their heads blasted to shreds or crushed to pulp in a car wreck. The images are typical of the crime or accident scene snaps that appear in Mexico's prensa roja tabloids. NeckFace uses the lurid pictures as a backdrop for his iconic watercolor drawings of hairy creatures acting out outrageous scenes of violence. Deftly executed, his raw and scratchy imagery evokes everything from Big Daddy Ed Roth (the creator of Rat Fink) and a doodle-addled Hieronymus Bosch, to a young Tim Burton and even the hellfire-and-brimstone images often found in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. An arresting watercolor drawing depicts a pregnant, prickly-haired, putrid-green señorita dangling by her chained arms. An orange zombie detonates a bomb strapped to the woman's belly. In the background of the composition, a ghoul does his best Hanley Ramirez impersonation, catching the flying fetus in his baseball mitt not unlike the Marlins' shortstop snagging a line drive. Carlos Suarez De Jesus
Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts
Myrna and Sheldon Palley, who have collected glass for more than 30 years, gave the Lowe more than 150 pieces by 53 artists. Their gift is valued in excess of $3.5 million and is considered one of the nation's finest collections of studio glass. When the Palley Pavilion opened in May 2008, it marked the first expansion of the Lowe in more than a decade. The Palleys' comprehensive collection at the museum includes works by Howard Ben Tré, José Chardiet, Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Michael Glancy, Harvey Littleton, Stephen Weinberg, Stanislav Labinsky, and Lino Tagliapietra, among others. Carlos Suarez De Jesus
The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama
The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama" corrals the works of more than 80 artists whose photos, videos, installations, paintings, sculptures, and tapestries honor the global spiritual leader and Buddhist who has devoted his life to the path to peace. The sprawling exhibit offers a provocative and varied collection of takes on the Tibetan holy man, the principles of Buddhism, and the value of all sentient life, by the likes of Chuck Close, Laurie Anderson, Bill Viola, Anish Kapoor, Jenny Holzer, Marina Abramovic, and many other top-tier names. One of the most impressive works on display is Lewis deSoto's bus-size inflatable Buddha, which appears to be fashioned from distressed denim. Across from deSoto's whopper, Andra Samelson's Bamiyan: A Continuum offers a stinging commentary on fundamentalist Taliban thugs' destruction of the colossal Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Blasted apart in 2001 in a savage act of censorship, the statues were considered the largest of their kind. Long-Bin Chen explores the relationship between Buddhism and DNA using a helix-like stack of Manhattan phone books he regards as the cultural refuse of an information society. His World Buddha Head Project depicts the faces of the Buddha, an animal, and a human carved into the tower of Yellow Pages, blending into each other to remark how all sentient beings share the same life spark. Carlos Suarez De Jesus
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