The new art season is upon us. Wynwood art dealers, wringing their sweaty palms, are in a sniff over who did or didn't make the cut for Art Basel.
The galleries are cranking out dozens of fresh shows like the conveyer belt at Krispy Kreme. The food trucks will be out in droves this weekend, eager to feed the throngs to the delight of starving culture vultures and the dismay of dealers tired of choking on exhaust fumes, sweeping chicken and rib bones off their stoops, and flushing the drunks from their bathrooms.
Stop complaining, folks. You've got it made in a floundering economy. Selling art when the average mook can't pay for a tank of gas is a sweet deal. For us average drones living paycheck-to-paycheck, we depend on you for the monthly ration of free booze and entertainment.
After all, that's why the Second Saturday Art Walk has turned into the one night of the month when South Floridians of all strata turn out for the big show.
Beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Wynwood galleries are back to the full-time business of elevating our city's cultural eminence, and business is booming. Here are our picks for this month's edition of the rollicking affair.
Borrowing its title, "Regular Lovers," from a Philippe Garrel flick, Sunny Suits's solo at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2247 NW First Pl., Miami) transports viewers into the private world of her friends and paramours.
Her photographs are cinematic in nature, convey a depth of authenticity, and bring to mind Nan Goldin's visual diaries. And not unlike the work of Garrel, Cassavetes, or even Fassbinder, her intoxicating oeuvre features the same characters making regular appearances.
In these works, she levels an unflinching gaze on her subjects, seeming to freeze fleeting moments of shared intimacy before they are lost.
Suits's photographs are unstaged. Even when her subjects glance at the camera, it is in direct response to her presence rather than a pose for the lens.
Like a director, keenly in tune with her cast of actors, she exudes a lingering out-of-frame presence that one can't help but experience.
Her engagement with her friends and lovers, and comprehension of the dynamics of the relationships between her subjects, lends the exhibit its true narrative. Suits presents an uncommonly frank and self-reflective window into the intimate world of her subjects in unguarded moments that results in starkly compelling works of a personal nature.
A soundtrack of music that Suits selected especially for the show will play throughout her exhibit. Call 305-448-8976 or visit snitzer.com.
Most people familiar with Karen Rifas's work recognize the South Florida artist for her beguiling site-specific installations employing thousands of stitched leaves cascading in curtain-like waves from a ceiling or arranged in web-like patterns engulfing entire rooms. Alluding to humanity's relationship with the environment, these charming, cerebral works evince Rifas's explorations of the rhythmic and chaotic changes that occur in nature.
In "Strung Out," her new show at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery (3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami), Rifas continues her exploration of geometry through various colors of cords to create unique geometric patterns, forms, and spaces.
At times appearing not unlike cat's cradles stitched into corners of the gallery walls or cutting through large swaths of space in bold compositions, her daring pieces invite viewer interaction while questioning notions of perspective.
Her use of color and installations of nylon cord, stainless steel, or stitched leaves enables the artist to create volume with a spare amount of material. At times straight lines appear to be curved, while at others the cords oscillate and colors intensify almost as if twanged by an unseen harpist's hand.
For the opening, Rifas has invited dancers under the direction of the New World School of the Arts teacher Dale Andree to move within her ethereal structures.
Her work and the dance troupe's interaction with the individual installations are designed to heighten the sense of both the reductive and explosive nature of the forces at play.
Don't miss Rifas's new thought-provoking installations that often reference the spare and poetic work of Agnes Martin and the rhythmic lines and pulsating color of Piet Mondrian. Call 305-573-2700 or visit bernicesteinbaumgallery.com.
David Castillo, one of two Miami art dealers chosen to represent the 305 at Art Basel Miami Beach this year — the other dealer is Fredric Snitzer — has plenty of reason to rejoice.
The David Castillo Gallery (2234 NW Second Ave., Miami) is celebrating its sixth anniversary in Wynwood with "Crushed Candy," a group show featuring top talent from Castillo's stable of artists.
The exhibit includes work by Jonathan Ehrenberg, Shara Hughes, Meredith James, and the TM Sisters (Tasha and Monica Lopez de Victoria).
Castillo says the works displayed "test their mettle against the sweet ease of perception" and that their premise is "a studio practice as steadfast as iron and finished forms as urgent and fantastical as the future state of candy."
We're not sure what that means, but it's evident that Castillo is gearing up for his season-opening bash with a head of steam and that he gives good press release.
Ehrenberg, a contemporary fabulist, parlays his interests in set design, still life, pantomime, and Noh theater into videos and works on paper.
Reveling in color, texture, and pattern, Hughes's mixed-media-on-canvas works tinker with notions of the Theory of Relativity, says Castillo. The dealer adds that "her visual vocabulary is as tight as Etch A Sketch and Keith Haring" before concluding that "all Hughes's world is an imaginative holodeck, and her subjects and viewers equal players." Sounds like a shindig worth crashing. Call 305-573-8110 or visit davidcastillogallery.com.
Another space ready to pop champagne corks is the newly minted Alberto Linero Gallery (2294 NW Second Ave., Miami), where folks are salivating to roar into high season with a show called "September."
If you can navigate the rolling greasy spoons fuming the environs outside the door, pop in and check out the group show organized by art collective Pink Bastard.
It features the work of seven locals and is one of the few places still doing the free wine-and-cheese thing.
Curated by Adriana Carvalho, the show is meant to inform gallery crawlers about the artists' view of day-to-day vagaries of life in the Big Mango.
Participating artists include Eddie Arroyo, Adriana Carvalho, Charles Falarara, Kevin Foltz, Cory Foote, Kathy Kissik, Franklin Sinanan, and David Zalben.
Take a gander at Foote's black-and-white portrait and landscape snaps, which exude undertones of melancholy.
Zalben, who uses metal wire to animate life's simplicities, has created a collection of evocative wire poems.
And Carvalho transforms items such as metal and cloth products into enticing pieces that represent her dreams and fears and are freighted with social commentary. Look for her new series of works, including her Insomnia installation, which highlights the poetry of everyday life using a pillow and a rug. Call 305-587-0172 or visit albertolinerogallery.com.