The Dark Crystal

Imagine a shimmering, steroid-juiced Lite-Brite pattern depicting a cast of deviant and marginal characters. That’ll give you an idea of Shonagh Adelman’s peeper-popping oeuvre. “Shonagh’s kids with Halloween monster masks, rockers with painted faces, houses on fire, and girls in a motel room make me think about Diane Arbus’s art and people’s archetypes of beauty and monstrosity. But at the same time, her works are made on canvas with colored crystal beads, creating an unusual contrast between the technique and the subject of the artworks,” Anna Milashevych, director of Wynwood’s Black Square Gallery (2248 NW First Pl., Miami), explains. Typically, Adelman employs tens of thousands of Swarovski crystals and translucent acrylic beads affixed on canvas to create richly textured, iridescent surfaces that refract light as the viewer engages them. But it is her bizarre catalogue of grotesques that sticks in the craw. You can catch her skull-staving pieces beginning at 6 p.m. during Wynwood’s free, season-launching Second Saturday Art Walk this weekend, when her solo exhibit, “Disorderly Conduct,” is on view at Black Square and features a dazzling example of several series of the artist’s compelling work. Some of the canvases on view depict Marie Antoinette in the apocalyptic landscape of post-Katrina New Orleans, while other images transport spectators to the opulent interiors of the Palace of Versailles, where marauding madams, merry minstrels, bicycling babes, and kissing cops vie with one another to seduce the eyes.
Sat., Sept. 8, 6 p.m., 2012


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