When you visit Wynwood this weekend you'll notice the two flagship spaces that helped make the area Miami's hottest cultural district are no longer part of the scene.
The Fredric Snitzer Gallery has decamped for the fringes of downtown, launching a new location recently while the David Castillo Gallery will pop the champagne cork on its new Lincoln Road digs on Miami Beach in a couple of weeks.
But that's not necessarily bad news for their competitors remaining in the artsy nabe who are determined to pick up the slack, opening a ton of new shows as the Basel-fueled fall season gets underway.
Some of the new and unexpected names you'll find at the Second Saturday Art Walk at 6 p.m. this weekend are Emma Carascon and Dwyane Wade.
Here are our top five picks as the quasi-official countdown to Art Basel starts ticking and a bit more on the Miami Heat superstar's Wynwood debut.
New Works: Expanding the Portfolio
This group offering at the Brisky Gallery showcases works by local and international names, presenting an array of media ranging from drawing and painting to sculpture and new media works. Make sure to check out Carascon's visual pun-filled drawings which fuse people, flora, and fauna and are inspired by the Magic City's tropical climes. On view you will also be surprised by three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade's foray into the art world.
Recently, Wade teamed with Brisky where he had the 2011 NBA All-Star parquet floor transported to the Wynwood gallery, dipped a basket ball in paint and dribbled his way across the court, leaving a Jackson Pollock-like trail of paint drips in colorful trails while working on a collection for an upcoming December show at Brisky to coincide with Art Basel. Wade, who should definitely keep his day job while honing his conceptual art skills, isn't shying from asking an established art star's prices for his work. While you can bag a nifty Carascon original for $500 apiece, the sure-shot Heat guard who is headed to the NBA's Hall of Fame is commanding a whopping $36,000 smackers for each of his works. Brisky Gallery, 130 NW 24th St., Miami. 786-409-3585, briskygallery.com.
This group show corrals the work of five artists who live and work in Cuba including Abel Barroso, J. Roberto Diago, Jorge Lopez Pardo, and the duo of Meira Marrero & Jose Toirac. Together the works convey distinct components that curators say have characterized Contemporary Cuban Art over the past two decades and are rife with direct or indirect critiques of the island's social and political life. Pan Am says some of the show's participants choose to illustrate their commentaries on the system with straight forward symbols, while others prefer taking an introspective attitude and use metaphors instead.
Regardless of their approach, these artists have to strike the perfect balance between creativity and political and social commentary, all while gambling that a rigid cultural ministry doesn't crack down on their projects. Don't miss Marrero and Toirac's sweeping installation that pays homage to La Caridad del Cobre, Cuba's patron saint, while commenting on religious hypocrisy back home. Pan American Art Projects, 2450 NW Second Ave., Miami. 305-573-2400, panamericanart.com.
Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere
For her solo at Diana Lowenstein, Colombian-born, Miami-based Alex Trimino explores the nostalgic desire to revisit notions of the passage of time by tinkering with traditional and new technologies to examine how we connect to reality today. On view you discover her strange illuminated totem poles covered in crochet, knittings, and a collection of hybrid sculptures employing hi-tech material and low-tech crafts with which she strives to fashion an equilibrium between traditions, technologies, and generations, the artist explains. Diana Lowenstein Gallery 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-576-1804, dianalowensteingallery.com.
Postcards from Havana
Cuba's Noel Morera thumbs his nose at ideological entanglements and instead draws his inspiration from the vagaries of daily life on Havana's coast and the exchange of furtive glances between locals, visitors and others hoping to hookup at Cuba's famed Malecon. The exhibit is part of Copper Fest 2014, an international exchange program geared to foster dialogue between cultural groups focused on the art of the Americas.
The show features a collection of Morera's seminal paintings based on his experiences framed by living on his homeland's shores. "I have had hallucinations on the Havana coastline and the landscape changed according to my thoughts. They are nothing more than static views of the same scene, renovated by the passion to see more of what they tell me," Morera muses. Swampspace, 3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-710-8631, swamspace.blogspot.com.
Sunday in the Park and Energia Miami
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Locust is staging a pair of exhibits intended to appeal to audiences hankering for a sense of shared cultural experiences. For her Miami debut, New York's Sarah Crowner, known for stitching together panels of raw and painted canvases to fashion eye-popping abstract works, is creating her largest work to date. Inside Locust's main gallery, her immersive installation will double as a theatrical stage. Taking its cue from stage design, Crowner's playful opus is hung with colorful voile curtains and painted backdrops bringing to mind park-like landscapes. During the show's run she will be working with a team of collaborators including Sari Carel, Exile Books and the Peter London Global Dance Company to deliver her fictional work of theater to the 305 stage.
In the Project Room, Mexico City's Miguel Rodríguez Sepúlveda marks the U.S. premiere of an ongoing project in which he has covered participants' backs with imagery as disparate as political figures to pop icons, to pre-Columbian graphics and other Latin American symbolism with watercolor paste. The artist then gets his subjects to work up a sweat, later transferring the runny mess from the perspiration and melting watercolors to cotton paper resulting in a one-of-a-kind monoprint. These prints, along with photographs and videos from previous iterations, will be included in the exhibition while Sepúlveda himself will be the sole performer in the Miami edition of Energia as a reminder that the Magic City's cultural profile is elevated by the many immigrants from South and Central America who now call it home. Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-576-8570, locustprojects.org.
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