Art Walk is heating up in Wynwood again, and with it comes a contrasting clash of imagery. You'll see protestors. You'll see riot police. And you'll see an addled Britney Spears pummeling a Disney legend with her umbrella. This Saturday, starting at 6 p.m., culture vultures can swoop into a raft of new exhibits riffing on urban demolition and life's fragile nature.
At the recently opened Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art you can even experience the transformation of a graffiti rat into a polished gallery artist. This past January, Shienbaum spied the local street artist who operates under the name Clandestine Culture wheat pasting posters of riot cops under the cover of darkness.
Since first approaching the masked man who told Shienbaum he preferred to remain anonymous, the dealer has gone on to sell his posters to collectors as far away as Paris.
Catch the nascent talent's first work in a gallery this weekend along with our picks for must see shows.
This local street artist's popular attention-grabbing pieces will be on view in a group offering that includes Russell Young's image of a sobbing Marilyn Monroe; Sarah Hardacre's scintillating nudes inspired by vintage men's magazines juxtaposed against the phallic outlines of modern concrete skylines; and Magnus Gjoen's turgid bazooka, human skulls, and artillery glossed over with renaissance masterpieces by Titian, Michelangelo, and Tiepolo. Shienbaum also showcases a mix of pop art masters such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Johns, and Rauschenberg, along with urban street art by names like Ron English and Shepard Fairey.
Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, 2239 NW Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-205-9089 or visit gsfineart.com.
Hobnobbing at the Garden of Earthly Delights
Taking a poke at Hieronymus Bosch's famous masterpiece, Colombia's Anibal Vallejo tackles the sins of contemporary society with hilarious embroidery pieces on canvas he later paints on. He skewers the banality of mass media with works depicting a bald Britney Spears throttling Mickey Mouse with an umbrella and a drunken Paris Hilton dragging herself across the asphalt pavement during a wardrobe malfunction.
Black Square Gallery, 2248 NW First Place, Miami. Call 305-424-5002 or visit blacksquaregallery.com.
So I will let it alone and talk about the house
Meredyth Sparks is presenting her first-ever video animation, as well as her largest installation to date. Sparks employs a concept she calls "extraction," dicing up imagery culled from musical subcultures, art history, labor, and gender, creating works oscillating between the minimal and decorative. Locust is also presenting "Lines" by Anya Kielar, who has created a theater stage-like installation using dyed and painted fabrics she has cut up into both figurative and abstract shapes and strung up on a clothesline along with some found objects. Inspired by Man Ray, Kielar's work exudes a distinct surrealist nature. While driving around the Design District or Miami Beach this month also keep your eyes peeled for Kielar's "sprayogram, Yellow Lines" covering over 30 bus shelters and commissioned by Locust as part of a public art initiative called "Out of the Box."
Locust Projects, 3852 North Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-576-8570 or visit locustprojects.org.
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This Sharp World
For artist Kate Kretz, motherhood has been both a source of inspiration and a reminder of life's delicate nature. After the birth of her daughter, she nearly became agoraphobic, believing if she never left home with her child, nothing would harm her. The experience led to a body of work created from her own hair fashioned into nests or embroidered on her baby's garments. On one of the girl's blouses she even sewed the words: "Your fragility in this sharp world is paralyzing." Kretz says she began working on her art until her hands shook, and felt like she was banging her head against the wall to create a beautiful stain.
Hardcore Art Contemporary Space, 72 NW 25th St., Miami. Call 305-576-1645 or visit hardcoreartmiami.com.
American-born, Berlin-based Erik Smith explores the shifting nature of urban landscapes in a near anthropological fashion. Last year Smith employed a shovel to excavate a section of the former "dead zone" of the Berlin Wall, where he unearthed a large spiral staircase he presented as a sculpture. Smith, who has been in Miami on an artist's residency, continues his investigation of cities in transition by focusing on the demolition of Dimension Variable's former space in the Design District, which is being torn down for a new development. Smith, who is also creating a limited edition soundtrack of the site's destruction, hopes to convey a sense of the radical transformation the area has undergone over the past decade in a process he says is as much "about speculative growth and renewal as it is negation and fragmentation."
Dimensions Variable, 3850 NE Miami Ct., Miami. Call 305-607-5527 or visit dimensionsvariable.net.
For the first group offering at his spanking-new digs, rising dealer Robert Fontaine is floating an eye-catching exhibit of nine stable stalwarts, including Troy Abbott, Simon Chetritm, Jesse Faber, Kathy Kissik, and Josafat Miranda. Although Fontaine says the number nine is symbolic for "harmony and represents the inspiration and the perfection of an idea," look for the dealer to shake things up with a keen eye for detail and quirky contrasts that have made his eponymous space a favorite with locals.
Robert Fontaine Gallery, 2349 NW Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-397-8530 or visit robertfontainegallery.com.