In the old days, if paint-slinging artists had a beef with their royal patrons, they had to keep their beaks closed or risk losing their heads. “Lowly serfs or artists like Brueghel, Bosch, and Goya couldn’t complain about social ills to the king,” says Barry Fellman, director of Wynwood’s Center for Visual Communication. “Instead they employed stealth and hid their criticism in the masterpieces we’ve come to know them for today.” During this weekend’s post-Basel edition of the Second Saturday Art Walk, beginning at 6 p.m., you can catch “Travelers in Time” at the Center for Visual Communication (541 NW 27th St., Miami). It features Lluis Barba’s large-scale photos in which the artist hijacks pop cultural imagery and consumer branding he fuses with old-school masterworks to comment on hot-button social issues. The space also features imposing steel sculptures by Herbert Mehler that till the furrows between the organic and geometric while giving the impression they might take flight with the slightest breeze.
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If you somehow missed Cristina Lei Rodriguez’s sculptures at the Miami Beach Convention Center or at the Nada fair during Art Basel, you can still catch her solo show “Change” at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2247 NW First Pl., Miami) and discover why people are abuzz about her new work. Rodriguez has ventured beyond her Little Shop of Horrors aesthetic and the trappings of youth glam. For this show, she's created more abstract, minimalist pieces employing elements such as Swarovski crystals and black shrink wrap to convey a stripped-down notion of the landscape.
Sat., Dec. 10, 6 p.m., 2011