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Shopping Cart Calumny

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Some time after 7 p.m. last night, out here on Northwest 71st Street and Second Court, Jacqui Brown (aka Miami artist Jacqueline Jackson Johnson) was ready to hustle. She wore a stylish black fedora atop her straight blond locks, a ripped wife beater over a black tank-top, gray sweats, and black Chucks.

She served up some dope better than loveboat. Dope art, that is. "Basically Jacqui Brown makes really small art that is accessible to everyone," Johnson says while holding up a silk screened communion wafer. "That's how I paid for Jacqui Brown's mobile art dealing unit."

She was, of course, referring to the hottest ride on the block: An adult tricycle with glowing green neon lights and a $100 spinner spoke attached to the front tire. She's also rigged the cage of a shopping cart on the rear of the tricked out trike. "I'm going to be riding around during Art Basel," Brown beamed during a conversation outside her crew's hangout, Faktura Gallery, home to the second annual Pimp My Kart opening exhibition.

Johnson enlisted 40 local artists to transform shopping carts into art. Mad props go to Johnson's friend and photographer Angela Helen Roell, who lost $1,300 Samsung digital video camcorder, digital discs with countless images when thioeves broke into the gallery. She had set fire to two shopping carts and filmed the blaze. The video footage was to be part of her installation that included the twisted burnt cart carcasses. Instead, the burglary inspired Ruell to create Kart Konfessions.

"Basically I went around the neighborhood with my digital recorder and taped my conversations with some of the homeless crack addicts," Roell explained. "I also recorded other sounds like the roosters crowing in the morning, the trains rolling through and this Haitian Episcopalian service held outside this parking lot."

The result: a garbled, yet introspective, collage of sounds that captures man's struggle for everyday penance. The recording plays on gold-spray-painted portable CD player Roell attached to a shopping cart decorated with a raggedy, pigeon poop-stained pillow. On the wall behind the cart, Roell hung a dozen photographs of her shopping cart pyre. On another cart, Roell placed her digital recorder in a box. "That's for people to make their confessions," Roell says. "I'm going to use them in a future exhibit."

The Pimp My Kart exhibition will be touring Wynwood today before heading to the Octopus Building for the silent auction between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. You can also check out the carts later this evening at Bullfrog Eatz at 8 p.m. For more information on additional shows check out: www.pimpmykartmiami.com.

Francisco Alvarado

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