Right in the middle of the sidewalk behind the Miami Art Museum sits a 15,000-pound block of granite. Afternoon shoppers and downtown workers rushing to lunch stop dead in their tracks, staring at the tombstone-esque block inscribed on both sides with the word Centrust.
For anyone who survived the '80s in Miami, the word conjures a rich memory of financial malfeasance. The stone once stood in front of the 47-story Miami Tower, Centrust's home until the bank imploded amid the national savings-and-loan scandal.
Now, after artist George Sánchez-Calderón rescued the block from a Wynwood junkyard, the piece has become a readymade sculpture, a powerful ode to past financial crimes and a stark reminder of the more recent Wall Street crisis.
The work is part of "New Work Miami 2013," a 305-centric exhibit at MAM reminding Miami that, as Art Basel brings an embarrassment of international talent to Dade, many exciting creatives are locals.
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Associate curators Rene Morales and Diana Nawi put the exhibit together not only to showcase local artists but also to explore the city's history and its psychological peculiarities.
"We wanted to pay tribute to the community of artists who are making dynamic contributions to the Miami art scene and portray the unique qualities of our city at the same time," Nawi says.