While some top tier Wynwood galleries will be closed this Saturday in preparation for the season launch in September, this month's edition of the Wynwood Art Walk promises to be less crowded and there are still plenty of fresh opportunities to scope out some provocative art on our radar.
Among the best offerings opening at 6 p.m. Saturday are a sprawling photography show featuring the work of 14 international artists, a conceptual duo exploring third-wave feminism and a solo exhibit by a young Cuban painter whose vision of the French monarchy's waning days offers scathing commentary on absolute power. There's even a showcase of the bumper crop of talent emerging from the New World School of the Arts and a peek at a Wynwood dealer's burgeoning collection. Here are our picks for what not to miss this weekend.
Summer Photo Show 2012
This compelling photo-based show features scores of stunning images from 14 international artists. Now in its second annual edition, the exhibit includes entries from all styles of the genre, including mixed-media works employing photography. On view is everything from conceptual and documentary photography to narrative photography, photo essay, iPhoneography, and photo collage. Look for Noah David Bau's portraits of young professional muay thai boxers at a training camp in Bangkok's most notorious slum. Another artist worth attention is Miami's Lissette Schaeffler, who focuses her lens on the Magic City's seedy hot-sheet motels. Lunch Box Gallery 310 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-407-8131; thelunchboxgallery.com.
The collaborative project by Heather Miller and Rosemarie Romero was created partially in response to the furor that erupted earlier this year when Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified about contraception before a congressional committee. Miller and Romero, both MFA students at the University of Florida, write that they want to "explore a complex and contradictory dialogue about objectification and identity." To that end, Romero's Porn Nails is an actual nail salon in the gallery, where the artist offers custom manicures for women and girls "in exchange for conversations in relation to love, sex, and work specific to the geographic region of South Florida." Miller, meanwhile, has taken over the front gallery and storefront windows facing North Miami Avenue to present Gold/Mirror, a series of human-size sculptural/photographic works depicting female bodies painted gold, with their absent faces replaced by mirrors. The work explores objectification as a means of empowerment and challenges feminist stereotypes, Miller says. Locust Projects 3852 N. Miami Ave..; 305-576-8570; locustprojects.org.
Radical Genealogy: The Decline of Dauphins, Courtesans, and Hounds
At Hardcore Art Contemporary Space this visually striking solo show by young Cuban painter Carlos Gamez 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 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. Hardcore Art Contemporary Space 72 NW 25th St., Miami; 305-576-1645; hardcoreartmismi.com.
Young Blood: Homecoming 2012
Thirty one artists, all New World School of the Arts high school and college grads, take center stage for the fifth installment of Young Blood, an annual fundraiser exhibition featuring NWSA high school and college alumni founded by high school graduate Michelle Gomez, 08'. A portion of the sales benefits the NWSA high school and college visual arts department, which helped shape and develop the artistic talents of this group. Guest curator, John Witty selected works that "express our relationship to our physical and conceptual home". Participants submitted work in a variety of media, "investigating notions of home from a range of perspectives, at once celebratory, nostalgic, and critical," says, Witty, who graduated from NWSA high school in 2005. Artseen Gallery, 2215 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami. youngbloodnwsa.wordpress.com.
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Robert Fontaine Gallery
Check out over 100 small works by names ranging from blue chip international talent to rising locals at the local hot spot specializing in Pop, Contemporary and Urban artworks. On view you'll find works in every conceivable media by artists including Damien Hirst, Marilyn Manson, Bansky, Nan Goldin, OLEK, Josafat Miranda, Tina La Porta and Troy Abbott. Robert Fontaine says it's the only time of year dealers like himself can organize this type of display leading into the high art fair season. "It's not an exhibit with a theme in the traditional sense," says Fontaine of the show on view this weekend at his eponymous Wynwood gallery. The dealer mentions that Alexander Korzer-Robinson is one of the artists well worth keeping the eyes peeled for. "He cuts the words out of old books he saves from the trash," Fontaine explains. "The work is social commentary on how fewer people read and settle for only pictures, leaving behind the need for words," informs Fontaine who calls the work a "deconstruction of nostalgia". Robert Fontaine Gallery 2349 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami. 305-397-8530, robertfontainegallery.com.