Jose D. Duran

The Second Wynwood Art Walk Still Holds Its Charms

Click here to see a slide show of the galleries.

Under the soft hum of the street lamps, hundreds still flock to the industrial wasteland of Wynwood for the visual delight of the second Saturday Art Walk despite the absence of Art Basel. It is still a place where people can gather to see some of the best contemporary art in the world as well as enjoy a free cocktail or two. Despite Basel being eight months away, Saturday had plenty of strong work on display proving this city isn’t only ahead of curve in December – it’s ahead all year long.

The In Repose exhibition at World Class Boxing provided a female perspective on female identity and sexuality, packing in a powerhouse punch of big names like Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon and Anna Gaskell. Gordon’s life-size print out of an image of Paris Hilton begs the question of “What is our obsession with her?” While Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #132” features the artist aged by prosthetics and makeup that doesn’t manage to hide her forced smiled.

The nearby David Castillo Gallery featured the opening reception for Raw Sewage which features the work of Miami-based Mexican artist Pepe Mar. Scrapes of wood and paper mache compromise the bulk of Mar’s work creating life-size mystical figures that somewhat resemble the human form.

Over at the In-Dependent Gallery, the work of Venezuelan photographer and graphic designer Jojo Corvaia dispelled the notion of race, gender or beauty by shooting his subjects in up close detail. The simplicity of the portraits almost renders them unbelievable, perhaps because we are used to so much manipulation and computer wizardry these days.

Other highlights include Maria Jose Arjona’s performance piece Karaoke, the fourth installment of her five-part White Series. During her performance she stood in front of a microphone singing to Edith Paif’s Non, je ne regretted rien in a white gown providing a stark contrast to the blood-red stains on the walls, a product of one her past performances. Also Gavin Perry’s opening exhibition of Deadcentury at the Fred Snitzer Gallery gave viewers an almost monochromatic palette that at times was broken up with jolts of neon colors.

But if anything is more impressive than the works of display it’s the continued allure and fascination Wynwood gives. Mangled chain-link fences and faulted sidewalks still give the area its gritty appeal. But the sight of an elderly couple well into their 70s traversing the art ghetto signals that Wynwood’s appeal is starting to go further than cooler-than-thou hipsters and self-lauded artists. -- Jose D. Duran

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