From gas at the pump to plastics and paint, the scope of petroleum's influence on modern life is easy to underestimate. If you need a reminder, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami), where Rolando Peña has constructed shining monuments to dirty crude. In "Black Gold," the Venezuelan artist gives credit — or assigns blame — where it's due, using gold-painted oil drums as building blocks in a variety of works, from a tunnel to a floating constellation. The show also features projections, lasers, and a photo diary, reflecting a multimedia approach to an omnipresent commodity. "Everything in our civilization... has to do with crude oil," Peña says. "There's more money in that than cocaine." Peña has been exploring oil through art since the '70s, and his commentary on it goes back even further: The first photo in his diary is of him as a kid at Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo, adding his own golden stream to a mother lode from which so much black gold has flowed. The exhibition runs this Thursday through November 13. Admission costs $5, or $3 for students and seniors. An artist reception will take place September 22 at 7 p.m.; admission is $10 for nonmembers and free for museum members and North Miami residents with ID. Visit mocanomi.org or call 305-893-6211.
The relationship between artists and critics is fraught with tension. Ideally, the two should work in tandem, developing new ideas and responding with constructive opinions, but both sides often miss the mark. Seth Cameron explores the dynamics of art and criticism in "Measure for Measure" at Nina Johnson (6315 NW Second Ave., Miami), formerly Gallery Diet. Consisting of traced outlines of his hands and thumbs, the canvasses in the show are rife with metaphors meant to evoke art-world shtick. "Measure for Measure" will be on view this Thursday through October 22. Admission is free. Call 305-571-2288 or visit gallerydiet.com.
Ogling the body parts of young, attractive humans might be growing increasingly less acceptable in our ever-evolving culture. But that doesn't mean you can't feast your eyes on a greased-up six-pack every now and then — as long as you're doing it in the right place. Thunder From Down Under, an iconic male revue complete with bulging biceps, rock-hard abs, and thighs that could crack a walnut, is exactly that place. The world-famous gaggle of Australian hotties is bringing its lineup of taut, toned physiques to the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) this Friday, and anyone aged 18 or older is invited to see the IRL version of Magic Mike. So snag a cocktail and practice your cat-calling — this is one time when it's A-OK to be lecherous. It's how these guys make their living, after all. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets run $35 to $65. Visit fillmoremb.com or call 305-673-7300.
Kanye West. You either love him or hate him. There is no in between. Those who hate him love to do it, though. Every time he steps to a mike on the TV screen, the internet is bound to buzz for hours, even days. If you love him, you worship at the altar of Yeezus, and more than anything, you pray for a new show-stopping tour. Mr. West is anything but ordinary, and completely anal. His stage productions are unlike anything most concertgoers will ever see. For his last tour, he decorated the stage in a giant snowy mountain, covered his face in bejeweled masks, and fell victim to ego and sin until "white Jesus" unmasked his face and saved his wretched soul. Really, look it up — that's what happened. This current tour supports his manically beautiful LP The Life of Pablo, and everyone is going nuts over the "floating stage." No doubt he'll take a good ten minutes out of his set to tell us what's on his mind. Of course everyone will sing along loudly when he claims to have made Taylor Swift "Famous," and everyone will be really happy to hear all of those "Old Kanye" hits too. Ole Yeezy will deliver all of this and more at back-to-back performances Friday and Saturday at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $25.50 to $156. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aaarena.com. See page 43 for more about Kanye West's tour.
They say the Grammy for Best New Artist is cursed. Those who win it are doomed to fall into obscurity (unless we're talking Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Mariah Carey), but Meghan Trainor is bound and determined to prove haters otherwise. "All About That Bass" was the earworm that invaded your brain for weeks without end the summer of 2014. Now that you've read those words, it'll no doubt ring in your head for at least the next two hours. It was easy to imagine her bubblegum doo-wop kitsch would lose its luster and leave her name to appear 20 years later when future oldies compilations celebrating our modern times are plastered around like so many '80s tunes today — but no. Trainor toiled on sets and in the studio to secure her place among pop's most resilient. Her second single, "Lips Are Moving," hit number four on the Billboard charts, and her follow-up album, Thank You, premiered at number three. That's not the sort of a thing a here-today, gone-tomorrow star can achieve, and she'll prove her worth to you onstage at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20.73 to $50.75. Call 305-358-7550 or visit ticketmaster.com.
"No Limits for Brazilian Cinema." That's the motto of the Inffinito Festival Circuit. And after two decades of bringing the best in Brazilian cinema to Miami, IFC makes its Magic City return with the 20th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami (BRAFF Miami). Kicking off at SoundScape Park (400 17th St., Miami Beach) this Saturday, the weeklong event opens with the 8:30 p.m. screening of Enchanted Amazon Island, a love story set in the mythical world of the Caruanas. Director Tizuka Yamasaki will be in attendance, along with Pajé Zeneida, the inspiration for the film's "medicine woman," who will give her blessing. Sunday through Tuesday, BRAFF Miami will take over the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) with two programs — Special Documentaries and Brazilian Female Film Directors' Screenings — featuring the premiere of Geraldinos, a documentary by Pedro Asbeg and Renato Martins about the story of Maracanã Stadium (which recently hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics), and Drop Dead Gorgeous, a comedy directed by Linda de Morrer. For the remainder of the week, check out the Competitive Screenings of BRAFF Miami at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). The screenings will showcase Alfonso Poyart's Stronger Than the World, a film based on the life of MMA fighter José Aldo, and Cláudio Assis' Big Jet, a drama based on the autobiographical novel by journalist Xico Sá, among other films of the ilk. At the end of the week, the audience-chosen Crystal Lens Award will be handed to the winner on BRAFF Miami's closing night, the following Saturday, September 24. Tickets to the Special Documentaries and Brazilian Female Film Directors' Screenings cost $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for BRAFF Miami members; tickets to the Competitive Screenings cost $10; and closing night at the Colony Theatre costs $20. BRAFF Miami member passes are available via IFC's website. Visit inffinito.com or call 305-600-3347.
The experimental art studio Obsolete Media Miami (OMM) has been delivering all sorts of interesting film exhibits to Miami. Its latest, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), is no different. Certainly, plenty of cinephiles have seen the Vincente Minnelli feature The Clock, starring his wife Judy Garland, but rarely has it been seen in the manner OMM is presenting it. Rather than simply show the film in its usual way, film critic David Thomson cut a 16mm print of the film in equal halves and played them forward and backward at the same time in a side-by-side format where the two halves met in the middle. This experiment was recently restored by curator Bruce Posner, who will present the world premiere of the dual-screen reconstruction at the Cinematheque this Saturday at 7 p.m. In addition to Posner appearing, Thomson will offer a Skype Q&A segment after the film presentation. The feature will be presented along with Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich's 1927 short The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra, accompanied by a new score from Alex Lough and Carlos Dominguez. Tickets cost $9 to $11 and can be purchased at the door or at mbcinema.com.
If the title of House of Art's new exhibition, "Losing My Religion," weren't straightforward enough, its official poster art drives home the point: A fist clutches a Bible, a cross, and rosary beads, all of them splattered with blood (presumably, not of the lamb). Serving as a reminder that freedom of religion also means freedom from it, the exhibition features five artists who employ theological iconography for provocative ends. Byron Keith Byrd addresses Christianity's relationship with money and sex by using mediums ranging from velvet and condom packages to U.S. currency, and his cheekily titled Religious Trap is a nine-foot crucifix covered with more than 300 mousetraps; Thomas Valdivieso's collages, including Horizonal Underworld, confront sex abuse in the Catholic Church; Henrique Souza creates intimate installations that include religious vestments; David Rohn's contribution, The Cleric, explores the ramifications of blind obedience observed by many of the faithful; and Alex Heria decorates pious objects using Swarovski crystals. According to its press release, the exhibition is intended to "build bridges between people of different religions and also appeal to those of none." Whether or not you share these lofty goals, kudos to House of Art for welcoming controversial work. "Losing My Religion" opens from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and runs through October 1 at House of Art (815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale). Admission is free. Call 754-301-2981 or visit houseofart.co.
How can you sip local beer while checking out a zoo and helping the environment at the same time? It's simple: You go to Brew 2 at the Zoo 2016. The event, which will be held at the Palm Beach Zoo (1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach), brings more than 25 breweries — all from Florida and none more than 200 miles away. That means reduced driving from breweries transporting their beer to and from the festival and, ultimately, fewer carbon emissions. This is all thanks to the recent growth of Florida craft breweries, which contributed $432 million to the state's economy in 2013, according to an impact analysis by the University of Florida. The report also cited the creation of more than 900 craft-beer-related jobs in 2012, and the industry has grown considerably since then. The event includes food for purchase from local restaurants and live entertainment. Brew 2 at the Zoo will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday. Ticket prices range from $35 for general admission to $65 for VIP. Advance tickets are required. Call 561-547-9453 or visit palmbeachzoo.org/brew-2-at-the-zoo-2016.
Fashion is intrinsic to filmmaking; just ask any costume designer about the effect clothing can have on a film's resonance. But aside from the Oscars' costume design award and The Devil Wears Prada, Hollywood tends to treat fashion as an afterthought. The filmmakers of the Miami Fashion Film Festival are the exception. Celebrating films that explore the many facets of fashion — including the art of creating it, the cultures it references and fosters, and the business of selling it — the fest returns this Monday with a lineup of screenings and special events. The festival opens with Yarn, a film celebrating knitters and crocheters, with a Miami premiere at Soho Beach House (4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). A selection of short films will screen at Miami Beach Cinematheque (1180 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) Wednesday at 7 p.m., followed by fashion documentaries September 22 at 6 p.m. Viewers can expect new insights into an often-underestimated industry. Tickets to individual events cost $12; an all-access pass costs $60. Visit miafff.com.
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The Bible says Abraham's descendants, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, went forth into the world and established Judaism. We suppose it's only natural, then, that some opted for sun and fun and ended up in the Caribbean, where worship could be accompanied by a tropical breeze. Two upcoming exhibits at the Jewish Museum of Florida offer images of Judaism's little-known historic places of worship in Cuba and the Caribbean. Each has special significance. Photographer Calen Bennett's "Synagogues of Cuba 2015" spotlights that island nation's Jewish community, established in 1906 but now depleted due to their exodus following the Cuban revolution of 1959. Fortunately, thaws in Cuban-American relations could revive its relevance. Photographer Wyatt Gallery's exhibition "Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean" takes visitors back to the 1600s, when the West Indies became a refuge for Sephardic Jews fleeing the persecution of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. Though only five island synagogues remain, Gallery's remarkable pictures offer insight into Judaism's enduring legacy and survival. Both exhibits take place concurrently at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). "Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean" runs Tuesday through December 11. "Synagogues of Cuba" is currently on view and also runs through December 11. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission costs $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Call 305-672-5044.
When it's time to eat, it's time to E.A.T! This veritable feast — whose name stands for "Edible, Artisanal, and Tasteful" and is brought to you by New Times — is not your average food-and-drink event: Admission gets you unlimited samples from more than 40 unique restaurants across South Florida in an exciting, air-conditioned setting. There, chefs Nuno Grullon and Ryan Martin will battle in a culinary competition for the E.A.T! Championship of 2016. You might know Martin for transforming the Democratic Republic of Beer from what he called a dive bar into his vision of a true gastropub. And remember Grullon? He's with Cafe Roval, the new farm-to-table backyard eatery that's soon to open in Miami's Little Haiti. There is no waste here. All unused food from the event will be donated to LifeNet4Families. Tickets start at $35 in advance and $65 at the door. VIP tickets cost $100, and Elite prices start at $135 until September 20 — the day before the event — and then jump to $150. That gets you early entry, exclusive access to samplings not available in other areas, and a wine, spirit, and beer bar. A percentage of ticket sales will go toward the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. E.A.T! will take place this Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the BB&T Center (1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise). Call 305-571-7543 or visit microapp.miaminewtimes.com/eat/2016/contact.php.