Miami Citizen: Don't bother trying to find common threads among these nine featured artists from different backgrounds. The show is more about the encounters their networks elicit than their stylistic convergences. I particularly enjoyed Kevin Arrow's delicate ink drawings on paper (borrowed from disparate sources), Mauricio Gonzalez's otherworldly landscapes (these are better than others I've seen with too much paint matter in them), Eugenia Vargas's evocative photos, Pedro Vizcaino's gun-morphing, and Teresa Ortiz's precious, circuslike representations of feline acrobatics. -- Alfredo Triff Through December 15. The Mexican Cultural Institute, 5975 Sunset Drive, South Miami; 786-268-4909.
onwords: In a way, graffiti enriched some of our "standard" cultural meanings by simultaneously defacing and embellishing them. All this happened within the periphery of the impoverished modern cityscapes. Now we're far from the 'hood, inside an art gallery. Extremely conscious of this environment, Tao Rey employs the iconic description of these personal hieroglyphics and proceeds to bend it --materially and conceptually. Meaning is stretched and repositioned. In the end we encounter repositioned, re-manipulated almost-destroyed emblems. Their aesthetic is not devoid of contradiction, but more important, in the process, they've become authentic and original cultural marks. -- Alfredo Triff Through November 30. Placemaker Gallery, 3852 N. Miami Ave.; 305-576-6695.