Art By Beasts

Strolling through Victorian picture galleries, doyennes shook their neck waddles with disgust when presented with the first works by the impressionists. “Why, my golden marmoset could paint a better portrait than that,” they hissed. History has recorded such exclamations as dismissals of the impressionists, rather than understanding them in the spirit in which they were intended: boasts of the artistic skills of captive animals. The art world will have a chance to redeem itself Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. when “Savage,” an exhibit of art made by animals, is presented by Zoo Miami and the South Florida Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (known as SFAAZK; when their receptionist answers the phone, it sounds like she’s in the middle of a laser-gun battle). The event will raise money for the artists, which is how normal art gallery shows work, although this time, you can be assured the artists won’t blow the cash on weird pants. Though the show will be held at the Bakehouse Art Complex (561 NW 32nd St., Miami), the zoo animals will be on hand for the first hour, giving the curious a chance to pick the artists’ brains or their back fur for mites. Get it straight from the zebra’s mouth: how sculpting with marble makes you a genius, but do it with your own feces and suddenly they lock you in a cage; how the art establishment has decided that if a human floats a dead shark in formaldehyde, it’s worth zillions of dollars, but if that same shark were doing edgy stuff with treated metal sculptures, he couldn’t even get a gig at Larry Gagosian’s petting zoo.
Sat., June 1, 7-10 p.m., 2013
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B. Caplan