The skeletal armatures of the mammoth cranes dotting the Miami horizon appear not unlike prehistoric creatures foraging on the landscape. For Matt Herget, the mechanical behemoths silhouetted against the Magic City's skyline have become the inspiration behind a recent body of work.
The local artist, whose creative nom de guerre is Mr. Herget, combines elements of machinery and South Florida's flora and fauna to create a weird vision of humanity's uneasy relationship with the environment he says echoes from the dawn of time.
You can catch Mr. Herget's new solo at Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art beginning at 6 p.m. during the Second Saturday Art Walk this weekend, where the artist channels everything from prehistoric cave paintings to today's kids going wild with a box of Crayola on the walls at home.
But remember, August means a spate of Wynwood galleries have shuttered their doors to prepare for high season while others are featuring holdover shows. Here are our picks for what not to miss this weekend.
We Are Kings
"If you trace art back far enough, eventually you'll just have someone picking up some sort of tool and etching what they see onto the side of a cave," Mr. Herget observes. "Most of the time it was animals and as these cave painters developed they even began bringing life in the form of motion to their drawings. I have an obsession with the energy that runs through everything on this planet and I try to capture that energy in my work," the artist adds. "In my eyes the crayon is the most primitive contemporary art tool."
Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, 2239 NW Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-205-9089 or visit gsfineart.com.
For his first ever Magic City exhibit, Mexican artist Marcos Castro has delved into mystical aspects of the subconscious mind to create his own mythology based on appropriated symbols.
"The objects and the creation of some of these elements are central to a belief system, which is observed in various religions," explains the young talent. "An object has a value and thus becomes important, because they are involved in one way or another in a reality that transcends it, a stone or a piece of root become sacred among others by the fact that his form causes an interest in a class or the source of the magical symbol."
The artist adds that many of the items represented at Dot Fiftyone were collected during the course of several hikes in the wilderness before finding their way to his studio to become part of his practice. "Through the graphic and pictorial manipulation and representation of these, as a ritual act, I intend to make them real and sacred," Castro concludes.
Dot Fiftyone Gallery 187 NW 27th St., Miami. 305-573-9994, dotfiftyone.com.
This group offering seeks to explore the space between childhood imagination and adult content as seen in painting, sculpture and installation. Carmen Tiffany mines notions of the importance of childhood imagination in relation to poverty-stricken and desolate pockets of rural Western culture. Kelly Boehmer's sculptural work speaks to the relationship between soft materials such as yarn, wool, faux fur and fleece, with a subject that is repulsive and violent. This process of seduction and brutality lead Boehmer into a dialogue about relationships and who we are and what we can become. Meanwhile Andrew Nigon is interested in the "parallax nature of our existence in which we have an insatiable drive to improve while living in a state of constant decay." His process involves a period of "feverish construction followed be reckless dismantling and assemblage until the form becomes a complex 'living' thing, which contains a personal history and an implied truth," a gallery handout explains.
This seamless group offering at Dina Mitrani was curated by Jesus Petroccini and Julian Pardo, founders of Foto 33, an e-magazine about the photographic medium. The duo organized the show to spotlight local talent whose works reflect a complex relationship with their surroundings. This is your last chance to catch the holdover exhibit which explores the Magic City's reputation as a hedonistic party destination contrasted against its rising role as a global center for artistic production.
"Holistic and enlightening, decadent and indulgent, such a shift towards the internal leads to discovery," say the organizers who add that the exhibit is "about the artists and the work they make within the backdrop of their own environment."
Dina Mitrani Gallery 2620 NW Second Ave., Miami. 786-486-7248, dinamitranigallery.com.
VENEZUELA\UKRAINE: unexpected conversation
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You couldn't find two countries as wildly different as Ukraine and Venezuela, But in late 2013 and early 2014 both countries, although separated by 5,998 miles from each other, suddenly found themselves at the center of world chaos. This holdover exhibit at Black Square Gallery explores the synchronicity of the political and social upheavals sweeping both nations during the turmoil that followed. Curated by Anna Milashevych, the show pairs artists and artists groups from the disparate regions, to convey how the resulting public outcry, social media and creative interventions, informed the process.
Black Square Gallery 2248 NW First Pl., Miami. 305-424-5002, blacksquaregallery.com.
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