CIFO's "Viewpoint" Exhibition Highlights Best of Latin American Art

When hearing the term "Latin American Art," the uninitiated might expect to encounter bright paintings of tropical landscapes, bull fighters swirling their capes, or maybe even a sultry mulata casting a fetching glance at the spectator. But then you'd be dead wrong and oblivious to the world class talent from the southern half of our hemisphere making a mark with their work on the international arts arena.

Thankfully we are home to the CIFO Art Space that has played a vital role in correcting the unwashed masses' ignorance. "Viewpoint: 2011 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition" features the work of Laura Belém (Brazil), Tania Bruguera (Cuba) Marcius Galan (Brazil); Fritzia Irizar-Rojo (Mexico); David Lamelas (Argentina); Begoña Morales (Peru); Amalia Pica (Argentina); Antonio Vega (Mexico) and Alicia Villarreal (Chile). Now in its eighth edition, the show examines the relationships and highlights the commonalities between participant artists despite their varied conceptual approaches and generational divides.

The exhibit takes its name from the notion of a converging point as a place from which to view. Starting from the artist, through the viewer and back, it seeks to explore the relationship between the art and the visiting public from that personal place where the work has as its genesis the subjective idea.

Morales unleashes a full blown aural assault with a work titled "My Building Song." In it one hears a cacophonous sonata replete with a barking dog, honking horns, and squawking pigeons.

Lamelas pipes in with his films shown on old-fangled projectors and featuring images helmed in Düsseldorf, Los Angeles, and London, while Pica has created an installation called "If These Walls Could Talk," bristling with jutting cans connected with string and reminiscent of lo-fi versions of a walkie talkie.

"Our annual grants program allow us, along with the public, to experience brand new works by these artists, bringing to the community cutting edge contemporary art from Latin America," gushes Kristina Matos, the space's spokesperson. "We are very excited to commemorate this eight annual exhibition, dedicated to the foundation's grants program, and congratulate this wonderful group of artists."

It also serves as a provocative platform reflecting the stunning contemporary art work currently hailing from the region.

"Viewpoint: 2011 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition" through November 6th. CIFO Arts Space 1018 North Miami Avenue, Miami. Call 305-455-3380 or visit cifo.org.

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