Art Walk is back in Wynwood, bringing with it even more signs that Miami is soaring as a cultural destination. Last month's edition was, admittedly, a dud. But this Saturday, starting at 6 p.m., culture-seekers can browse a galaxy of new shows, ranging from a Parisian shutterbug's photos of famous celebrities, to an exhibit riffing on El Generalissimo Franco, to the contents of a man-made underwater reef dredged up from the coast and plopped inside a Wynwood space.
The food trucks are back (we think) after a brief hiatus, to the joy of slavering culture crawlers and the dismay of some dealers fuming about sweeping bones from their sidewalks. But hey, what's an art walk without feuding interests?
Florida Grand Opera will also jump onto the art walk bandwagon by hosting a preview of Roméo et Juliette at the always-buzzing Dorsch Gallery for those hankering for star-crossed feuds to go with that rack of ribs.
Here are our picks for what not to miss during this weekend's rollicking arts bash offering something for everyone to enjoy.
This show features Paris lensman Didier Gicquel's large black-and-white gelatin silver prints of film, art, music, and literary luminaries captured while visiting the City of Lights. Since 1979, the photographer has used a battered old camera with a Leica lens to take pictures of personalities such as James Ellroy, Patti Smith, Francis Ford Coppola, Johnny Depp, and a host of other celebrities with a passion for France. Gicquel's shots are soulful and speak to the universal cult of celebrity with a natural, unposed air.
Lelia Mordoch Gallery, 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 786-431-1506 or visit galerieleliamordoch.com.
German artist Hannes Bend presents a multimedia re-creation of a natural disaster wrought by man. For his arresting exhibit, Bend has filled the gallery space with hundreds of rotting tires dredged from the Osborne Reef, expanded in 1972 when the Broward Artificial Reef Company began dumping old automobile tires off the coast in an attempt to attract more marine life. With more than 2 million rubber tires sitting underwater today, Osborne has been declared an ecological catastrophe, and Bend's project, which also features photography and video, draws attention to the 30-acre site.
Charest-Weinberg Gallery, 250 NW 23rd St., Miami. Call 305-292-0411 or visit charestweinberg.com.
In the Valle de los Caidos
This exhibit promises to venture into the heroic and the ridiculous with University of Arizona professor and conceptual artist Lawrence Gipe's over-the-top foray into fascism. Gipe's solo boasts epically scaled mixed-media paintings on raw canvas, a video installation, and a collection of small works delving into the enormous cathedral that Gen. Francisco Franco had built as a tomb for himself in the Sierra de Guadarrama near Madrid, using prisoners of war as slave labor. Gipe has sourced imagery for his exhibit from historical photos, propaganda films, present-day blogs from both the right and left of the divisive controversy surrounding the site, and even a Franco-era thriller that used the church grounds as a set.
Primary Projects, 4141 NE Second Ave., Ste. 104, Miami. Call 954-296-1675 or visit primaryprojectsspace.com.
Word of Mouth
Michael Loveland's exhibit is inspired by antiwar posters and Occupy Wall Street protest signs in which the artist employs images of people with their mouths erased to explore the power of the individual's voice in society. Lowenstein is also presenting "Paper and Light" by Germany's Angela Glajcar, whose delicate works strike a balance between the permanent and immaterial.
Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, 2043 North Miami Avenue, Miami. Call 305-576-1804 or visit dlfinearts.com.
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Cuba's Reynier Leyva Novo thumbs his nose at ideology on a global level with his arresting "Novo Aniversario," a collection of 27 political posters he's created to challenge the machinations of those in power who believe individuals are incapable of becoming agents of change. At Steinbaum, don't miss Edouard Duval Carrié's "The Three Dimensional Gods and Goddesses Meet Their Cousins The Trees," his surreal study of trees as self-portraits.
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami. Call 305-573-2700 or visit bernicesteinbaumgallery.com.
The expanded Robert Fontaine Gallery inaugurates its new space with a solo show by London-based artist Nick Gentry, who creates large-scale portraits using floppy discs attached to Masonite board that he then paints. In a back room of the gallery, Fontaine will also exhibit works by iconic museum artists. "The new space is twice the size of the former one," Fontaine says. "It's across from Panther Coffee and has 20-foot ceilings and is over 2,000 square feet in size, so I will be showing works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Tom Wesselmann, among others from my collection. I am also going to have a video room, which is something I did not have the space to do before."
Robert Fontaine Gallery, 2349 NW Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-397-8530 or visit robertfontainegallery.com.
For Old Times' Sake and Let's Begin With a Line
The Dorsch is staging a pair of exhibits intended to appeal to nostalgia for youthful playgrounds and our inner math nerd. The first, "For Old Times' Sake," is a solo by local sculptor Ralph Provisero. It features a monumental kinetic sculpture titled "Spring Rider," for which the artist retooled an old-school fiberglass child's car and tricked it out with a motor to make the toy wheels dance. The second show, "Let's Begin With a Line," is a group offering that comprises a selection of works riffing on the aesthetic pleasures of symmetry and the linear. But the highlight of this edition of Second Saturday might be the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets when Florida Grand Opera previews its performance of Shakespeare's classic tale of love and warring families at the Dorsch from 7 to 9 p.m., with complimentary cocktails provided by Chambord liqueur, Little Black Dress vodka, and Herradura tequila.
Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. Call 305-576-1278 or visit dorschgallery.com.