Mikhail Baryshnikov owns a home at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic, where he's added some mean merengue moves to his repertoire. But not as a dancer.
The greatest ballet dancer of the 20th Century, rather, spent his time in the D.R. building the island's favorite dance into the eye-popping photographic portfolio he's quietly built as an accomplished lens man who's been honing his eye for 35 years.
The dancer's unique take on the human body opens at 6 p.m. this weekend and is just one of the highlights at this month's Second Saturday art hop in Wynwood. Art fiends can also discover a master shutterbug's sweeping vistas of Cuba's natural grandeur; a gypsy-like carnival of the surreal; common, everyday objects re-envisioned through a pair of x-ray specs; and an exhibit that promises to leave you short of breath.
Here are our top picks for this month's cultural conga line through the district:
Dance This Way
Baryshnikov's high-stepping solo photography show features a dynamic suite of the Latvian hoofer's pictures of ballet, hip-hop, and modern dance performers from across the globe. Baryshnikov brings us some of the dance realm's most iconic troupes. On display are images of traditional hula dancers, Brazilian hip-hoppers, a fiery flamenco dancer in Madrid, and a dance pair called Kely and Facundo tearing up the parquet with a torrid tango. You'll also see Chen-Wei Lee of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company of New York performing "eyeSpace," and a couple engaged in a scorching bachata in the D.R.
Gary Nader Art Centre (62 NE 27th St., Miami), Call 305-576-0256 or visit garynader.com.
Cuba: The Natural Beauty
This solo by award-winning landscape photographer Clyde Butcher, also commands attention. Butcher is famed for his sweeping panoramic vistas of the Everglades and America's geographic splendors from Oxbow Bend to the Grand Tetons, but for this exhibit the photographer traveled to the Caribbean island to snap some breathtaking shots of the country's rarely visited natural gems. Butcher, who gained unprecedented access from the Cuban government during a United Nations-sponsored conference on conservationism and environmental issues in the Caribbean, says the goal of his work was to show that Cuba's natural wonders are a common denominator with the United States. It marks the first time the full body of work will be shown in South Florida.
Center for Visual Communication (541 NW 27th St., Miami) Call 305-571-1415 or visit visual.org.
God, Gold and Guns
Jaime Treadwell's new body of work refracts symbols of pop culture through the blinding glare of a disco-ball mirror. The Philadelphia native conjures utopian dreamscapes in his pulse-raising canvases where hookers cohabitate with religious icons, dancers, cherubs, and fairies, all in perfect harmony in scenes both discomfiting and surreal in nature. Treadwell, whose paintings are like a weird mashup between Avatar and John Water's Pink Flamingos, nicely captures the spirit of Second Saturday in his zany imagery.
Zadok Gallery (2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami) Call 305-438-3737 or visit zadokgallery.com.
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Ink on Roses
Leslie Gabaldon ratchets up the feel good vibe with her solo presenting detailed close ups of poetry and math formulas on petals. The artist has handwritten coded fragments of text on the flowers as a manifestation of her musings on love, passion and drama of human relationships and to encourage viewers to read between the lines and reconsider "preconceived paradigms about the meaning of art".
Dot Fiftyone Gallery (51 NW 36th Street, Miami) Call 305-573-9994 or visit dotfiftyone.com.
Visiting Wynwood's art warehouses can often feel akin to opening a box of Cracker Jacks and wondering if you'll discover a prize or a dud inside. But Gregg Shienbaum, another transplant from the City of Brotherly Love, is bringing a new vibe to the hood by knocking out the walls of his space to create one of the few open storefront galleries in the area. He's inaugurating the new digs this weekend with a show featuring the work of British shutterbug Nick Veasey, who photographs everything from iPods to Boeing-777 jumbo jets through skin-piercing x-ray images.
Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art (2239 NW Second Ave., Miami) Call 305-205-9089.
Shortness of Breath
At the new Locust Projects space, local painter Natalya Laskis plans to squeeze the air out of your lungs with her solo featuring the largest-scale canvases she's tackled to date. Don't expect to see her typical scenes of isolated farming communities or motorcycle gangs. For her new show, Laskis has created skull-staving paintings using improvised tools such as broom brushes and skis to apply paint to canvases, creating increasingly abstract works that are visceral in nature and emotionally tuned to her personal experiences and vision.
Locust Projects (3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami) Call 305-576-8570 or visit locust projects.org.