Maybe you didn't know, but master Miami beatmaker Otto Von Schirach is a great friend of gallerist Brook Dorsch. "I remember meeting Brook. It was love at first sight!" Otto beams.
Dorsch is a lover of fantastic art, experimental music, and fun. So when one of Wynwood's awesomest art spots, Dorsch Gallery, celebrates 20 years of existence this Saturday with two solo show openings, art talks, and booze, there will also be a variety of quality performances by fine local noisemakers, including the MIA's favorite Martian from the Bermuda Triangle.
Otto knows a million secrets about the Dorsch Gallery space and he offered to give us an insider's tour.
Von Schirach performed at the gallery space for the first time in 2003 before it was air-conditioned, to a seated audience, oddly enough. "Back then, it was superweird electronic music, that was what was popular, not the pop stuff that everyone wants now. So, it was strange," Otto says.
The most memorable show he's seen at the space was Dino Felipe that same year. He describes it as, "Wasted youth. It really felt like it was underground there. The people who kind of run Miami art were here, in 2003, 2004."
The Dorsch Gallery has hosted numerous other unforgettable performances. But in this post, we're merely exploring the space. Let's start with the water closets.
Hugo Montoya Handicap Bathroom
"I actually had no idea until Brook pointed out that every picture in here is Hugo's." Then Otto adds, "Hi, Hugo." All photos in this john were taken by artist Hugo Montoya. They are, according to Dorsch employee Alan Gutierrez, "The longest artwork on view in the gallery."
Bert Rodriguez Dedicated Bathroom
Otto points out the collage of Latoya Jackson above the toilet, apparently created by local art star Bert Rodriguez. Also in the bathroom is a wonderful New Times' Best of Miami 2003 award for the Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men. Curator Tyler Dorsch says of her husband, "When I first met Brook, one of the things I noticed was this sign."
The Great Outdoors, Formerly the Site of a Crackhouse
Next to the warehouse, there was once an edifice that served as the home of a crack-addicted couple. It was affectionately known as the Crackhouse. "It used to be a crackhouse and an installation, now it's a beautiful backyard for leisure," Otto says. Apparently, there's something fruit experts call "crack mangoes" growing in this lot. They taste particularly sweet.
In the Dorsch garden, there's also bamboo, avocado, lychee, papaya, two mango, and banana trees. There's even an indigo plant, left over from an art show by Brian O'Connell. Remnants from other exhibitions are scattered about.
Von Schirach points out a ditch in the side yard and explains that during a party last year eight Christmas trees were burned after the joyous season had passed. "Brook barely knows this," Otto says.
Apparently, Brook's art name is Toot. It's actually his middle name. "I love it cause it's my name [Otto]," just rearranged, said Von Schirach. This information solidified their true bond.
There is also a secret cave in the gallery that no one knows about. Sometimes you can hear bass pounding from this secret area. It's just part of Dorsch Gallery's many mysteries.
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You'll learn so much more this Saturday when you hit up the gallery's 20th anniversary party, and maybe find your own little undiscovered corner of the Dorsch.
Dorsch Gallery's 20th Anniversary Party with DJ Otto von Bass Warrior, DJ Mr. Feathers, Boise Bob and his Backyard Band, Rat Bastard, and north&south. Saturday, November 19. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-576-1278 or visit dorschgallery.com.