Hidden down a narrow, semi-secluded Design District street that's not much more than a backalley, Swampspace Gallery (3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami) is the appropriately tiny exhibition and gathering place that fronts artist Oliver Sanchez' studio. Unlike most Miami art spaces, this one is the size of your living room and it even feels like a sorta secret hang out spot in a shared house. With a name chosen by a committee of neighborhood cohorts, Swampspace is dragging the salon out of the museum and into the art squat.
A pair of collages by Walter Latimer
To one side of Swampspace, Latimer's actually set up something that looks vaguely like your average living room. That is, if you overlook the details ... Sure, there's a bunch of furniture: a TV-VCR and some gold, antique-y frames on the walls and a chair. But the TV-VCR's playing a choppily edited and distorted video of some aggro topless guy in facepaint and costume, gyrating unnaturally to a hacked-up musical grind. The gold, antique-y frames hold a couple of sexually charged yet emotionally distant collages: 1) a boy literally removed from his clothes by cut-and-paste; and 2) a fragmented, shattered, repeated shot of a brown-haired beefcake. And the chair is no regular chair -- it's a chair with a faux-fur vagina down the center of its seat.
Two sketches by Azura Wånnman
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Meanwhile, over on the other side of the Swamp, Wånnman's produced a series of pencil sketches on mylar, punctuated by splashes of gold glitter. There's a girl whose 24k pigtails are levitating supernaturally from the sides of her head. And there's a too-tiny nymph sitting atop a finely crafted wooden horse that just happens to be standing in a pile of gold glitter leaves. And there are a few other flashes of fantasy, too. Not to mention, a quiet winter landscape video of her own that provides a delicate, snowy contrast to Latimer's more confrontational stuff.