Derrick Adams Does Bas Fisher, Mike Tyson, and Darth Vader

all adorned with Mike Tyson's likeness, another wall wearing coats, and still another wearing shorts. Confused? It's the work of Derrick Adams, founder of the Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Baltimore and recipient of the 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, in a nuthouse, er, nutshell. Adams brings American symbology and fake artifacts, quite literally, to the wall. But don't take our word for it. Listen to Adams wax artistic on his work at the Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) this Sunday.

Adams's images stir up a kind of cultural frenzy while the visual anchor of the brick wall is transformed into a living monument. The "low" nature of pop art becomes downright cheeky. As an example, consider his Darth Vader-mask urns--proof that even Star Wars geeks can appreciate fine art (not that they ever did, but a sculpture of Yoda made from chrome machine parts doesn't really cut it). Adams' s visit is further evidence that the Miami arts scene is not just a one trick-Art Basel-pony. Renowned artists (and their respective exhibitions), critics, and curators are descending upon the Magic City long before December. The 305 has gotten a healthy dose of the nitty-gritty-city perspective lately with the work of Shinique Smith, another Baltimore-based artist , now showing at MOCA. But just as Smith has dealt with forgotten elements of modernity, Adams looks to superheroes and monuments using themes of escape, retreat, and navigation through the urban jungle.

Located in the heart of Design District, the BFI is a fitting host for Adams and his visual eccentricities. The alternative space was formed by Hernan Bas and Naomi Fisher after the closing of their favorite alternative art space, The House.

Hear from Derrick Adams this Sunday at Bas Fisher Invitational, (180 NE 39th  St., Miami). The talk starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www/basfisherinvitational.com.

--Shana Mason

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