Mikhail Baryshnikov owns a home at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic, where he's added some mean merengue moves to his repertoire. But not as a dancer. The greatest ballet dancer of the 20th Century, rather, spent his time in the D.R. building the island's favorite dance into the eye-popping photographic portfolio he's quietly accrued as an accomplished lens man who's been honing his eye for 35 years.
Baryshnikov's high-stepping solo photography show, "Dance This Way," is on view at the Gary Nader Art Centre this weekend where the eponymous dealer, who also hails from Santo Domingo, will feature a dynamic suite of the Latvian hoofer's pictures of ballet, hip-hop, and modern dance performers from across the globe.
The dancer, choreographer, and actor's unique take on the human body opens at 6 p.m. this weekend, just one of the highlights at this month's Second Saturday art hop in Wynwood. Art fiends can also discover a master shutterbug's sweeping vistas of Cuba's natural grandeur; a gypsy-like carnival of the surreal; common, everyday objects re-envisioned through a pair of x-ray specs; and an exhibit that promises to leave you short of breath.
Wynwood Second Saturday Art Walk
Here are our top picks for this month's cultural conga line through the district:
At the Gary Nader Art Centre (62 NE 27th St., Miami), Baryshnikov brings us some of the dance realm's most iconic troupes and genres captured during his jaunts across the globe.
On display are images of traditional hula dancers, Brazilian hip-hoppers, a fiery flamenco dancer in Madrid, and a dance pair called Kely and Facundo tearing up the parquet with a torrid tango. You'll also see Chen-Wei Lee of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company of New York performing "eyeSpace," and a couple engaged in a scorching bachata in the D.R.
"What people need to understand is that Baryshnikov is one of the greatest dancers of the last hundred years," Nader says. "He is not just a famous person taking photographs, but a gifted photographer whose unique understanding of the subject matter has resulted in beautiful works of art." Call 305-576-0256 or visit garynader.com.
Next, skip over to the Center for Visual Communication (541 NW 27th St., Miami) where "Cuba: The Natural Beauty," a solo show by award-winning landscape photographer Clyde Butcher, also commands attention.
Butcher is famed for his sweeping panoramic vistas of the Everglades and America's geographic splendors from Oxbow Bend to the Grand Tetons, but for this exhibit the photographer traveled to the Caribbean island to snap some breathtaking shots of the country's rarely visited natural gems.
Butcher, who gained unprecedented access from the Cuban government during a United Nations-sponsored conference on conservationism and environmental issues in the Caribbean, says the goal of his work was to show that Cuba's natural wonders are a common denominator with the United States.
"This is the first time the full body of work will be shown in South Florida," CVC Director Barry Fellman says. "From entire mountainsides of royal palms to orchids, bromeliads, and ferns, Clyde shows us there is much more in common between our countries than differences." Call 305-571-1415 or visit visual.org.
Later, shimmy over to the Zadok Gallery (2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami), where Jaime Treadwell's new body of work "God, Gold and Guns" refracts symbols of pop culture through the blinding glare of a disco-ball mirror. The Philadelphia native conjures utopian dreamscapes in his pulse-raising canvases where hookers cohabitate with religious icons, dancers, cherubs, and fairies, all in perfect harmony in scenes both discomfiting and surreal in nature.
"I find pleasure combining various iconographies with conflicting imagery, design, and color," says Treadwell, whose paintings are like a weird mashup between Avatar and John Water's Pink Flamingos. Call 305-438-3737 or visit zadokgallery.com.
Visiting Wynwood's art warehouses, meanwhile, can often feel akin to opening a box of Cracker Jacks and wondering if you'll discover a prize or a dud inside. But Gregg Shienbaum, another transplant from the City of Brotherly Love, is bringing a new vibe to the hood by knocking out the walls of his space to create one of the few open storefront galleries in the area.
He's inaugurating the new Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art (2239 NW Second Ave., Miami) this weekend with a show titled "X-ray" featuring the work of British shutterbug Nick Veasey, who photographs everything from iPods to Boeing-777 jumbo jets through skin-piercing x-ray images.
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"What I like about Nick is that he forces you to see things from the inside out rather than on the surface," Shienbaum says. "Where [Andy] Warhol created imagery of a Campbell's soup can, Nick's work fits the same sensibility but instead you'll find everyday images of an x-rayed bulldozer or a bowler hat." Call 305-205-9089.
At the new Locust Projects (3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami), local painter Natalya Laskis plans to squeeze the air out of your lungs with "Shortness of Breath," her solo exhibit featuring the largest-scale canvases she's tackled to date.
Don't expect to see her typical scenes of isolated farming communities or motorcycle gangs. For her new show, Laskis has created skull-staving paintings using improvised tools such as broom brushes and skis to apply paint to canvases, creating increasingly abstract works that are visceral in nature and emotionally tuned to her personal experiences and vision.
And in Locust's Project Room, don't miss "High, Low and in Between," a site-specific installation by Emmett Moore, Miami-based artist and designer who blurs both disciplines for his exhibit. Moore, who is fascinated by both natural and manufactured patterns, has hand-fabricated wall relief panels and sculptural elements employing everything from wood laminate to composite notebook outlines to tweak viewer's peepers while disrupting one's sense of scale and depth perception. Call 305-576-8570 or visit locustprojects.org.