Low and Behold

The oft-apocalyptic, always-critical pop-culture-inspired art movement known as Lowbrow is ready to shed its misnomer — and the fast-peddling, South Florida-based artist/curator Francesco LoCastro is partially to thank.

LoCastro's "We'll Make a Lover of You," an outgrowth of his annual "Parallel Universe" exhibit, trades the grungy warehouses of Wynwood for a chi-chi venue at Lincoln Road's ArtCenter/South Florida.

The exhibition features paintings, installations, and sculptures from 40 artists whose work ArtCenter calls "urban contemporary and pop surrealist." Though this show is smaller in size than "Parallel Universe," LoCastro says the caliber of the current works is the best of any exhibit he has curated.


"We'll Make a Lover of You"

Opens December 8 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Through January 7. Free admission. ArtCenter/ South Florida, 800 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach; 305-674-8278, www.artcentersf.org, www.francescolocastro.com.

Ranging in style from the painterly work of Shawn Barber to the hypnotic hyperrealism of Sas Christian, "We'll Make a Lover of You" even includes a piece from Lowbrow pioneer and Juxtapoz magazine founder Robert Williams.

As usual, LoCastro and crew will create a mural backdrop for the exhibition, a departure from the traditional white walls of highbrow galleries.

In LoCastro's view, Lowbrow creates a fresh aesthetic for the artistic voices of a media-saturated generation.

"[Lowbrow] is becoming popular because it's palatable," he says. "Everyone can relate to some aspect of the imagery; it doesn't shut out the uneducated, and that characteristic makes it really different from other movements."

Perhaps a testament to a softening in the art establishment's antipathy toward the movement, "We'll Make a Lover of You" is the first Lowbrow show to be endorsed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Not too shabby.


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