With the tents rising in Wynwood and Basel just a few weeks away, you can already sense the excitement over Miami Art Week as the international art set gears up to invade the tropics.
This weekend's Second Saturday is shaping up to be the busiest of the year with some local spaces already opening their Basel offerings in anticipation of the December shindig.
There's plenty on tap for everyone, from an experimental opera by a rising South African talent to a Briton's Star Wars homage to Warhol -- and even art you can eat at a smorgasbord for the eyes in the Design District featuring the finest food, wine and design Spain's avant-garde culinary minds have to offer.
The countdown to the Art Fair season begins at 5 p.m. this Saturday. Here our top picks for the rollicking edition of the monthly arts romp.
Intethe (Sketch for an Opera)
For his first major project in Miami, South African sculptor Nicholas Hlobo, who is known for his sprawling, room-engulfing installations, is exploring issues of racial, sexual, and gender identity. He's collaborating with local Haitian musicians Papaloko and Loray Mistik on a sketch for an opera entitled Intethe ("Locust" in the Xhosa language) set among his sculptures. The experimental work references notions of shared identity throughout the global African Diaspora.
In Locust's Project Room don't miss "Over And Under" by Miami's own Frances Trombly, who is presenting a floor-to-ceiling scaffold in a project that is her largest to date and references the machine-made and industrial fabric production. The soaring scaffold is the massive framework for a handmade canvas, which the artist is looming in the structure.
Like Yoda, the white-wigged Warhol was inscrutable, his force was far reaching, and he was the lord of his universe. For London-based artist RYCA, who is paying tribute to his Pop Jedi master through a filter of Star Wars and cult sci-fi movie iconography, Warhol's influence on culture still remains indisputable. RYCA has hijacked classic Warhol imagery and retro-fitted it to suit his Star Wars fantasies.
In addition to his Warhol-inspired works, RYCA is also exhibiting a life-size screen print of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, as well as a portrait of Sigourney Weaver in her iconic space helmet from Aliens.
Human Nature & The Oblivion of Being
Sean Black's stirring photographic autopsy of the socio-economic quandary of the homeless is freighted with that ineffable quality the Existentialists called "the uncanny." Black, who is a freelance journalist, artist, activist and educator, creates images that convey a sense of the domestic and strangely familiar through a subtle intimacy with his subject matter that engages his audiences to ponder the plight of a disenfranchised community and their humble resilience.
University of Miami Gallery at the Wynwood Building, 2750 NW Third Ave., Suite 4, Miami.
Don't be fooled by this show's pithy title or expect to discover a tongue-in-cheek mockery of the contemporary art scene here. Instead this group show, featuring Borden Capalino, Marianne Eigenheer, Brian Fridge, Nicolas Lobo, Nathlie Provosty and Cordy Ryman, offers art of a more meditative and distinctly personal nature. On view you'll discover New York-based Capalino's use of common detritus to explore minimalism in the context of decay and desperation, while Fridge, who is from Texas, creates low tech videos with a minimalist's eye. Meanwhile, Miami's Lobo seeks to give sculptural form to intangible.
Tapas - Spanish Design for Food
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Spain's gastronomic artistry takes center stage at The Moore Building, boasting more than 200 exhibits, displays and installations by Spanish chefs, designers, architects, wineries and restaurants spanning the last 25 years of the nation's avant-garde experimental blending of design and food. The savory confab, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon's arrival to the Sunshine State, is portioned into three sections: The Kitchen, The Table and The Meal, each replete with the legendary flavors and aromas of Spain's rich culinary traditions. And if that's not enough to whet your appetite, viewers will also receive an edible printout with their image inserted on a tapas recipe to spice up their visit.
From 1 to 7 p.m. at the Moore Building, 4040 NE Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-606-7295.
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