Art Basel: Death of a Salesman at Context

Fernando Luis Alvarez's installation at his eponymous gallery's space at Context is assembled from discarded shipping items and beverage bottles collected during art week. It "depicts the experience both gallerists and artists go through in setting up for the big day."

Kendall Hamersly

Developers unveil sculpture garden in Little Haiti

Silicon Valley mogul Bob Zangrillo and Miami real estate developer Tony Cho unveiled a sculpture garden Wednesday evening that will anchor the first phase of their "innovation district," called Magic City, in Little Haiti.
The highlight is a 12-foot-tall aluminum sculpture that lights up at night and spells "MAGIC." Built by Bay Area-artist Laura Kimpton, the piece was commissioned for Burning Man, the free-spirited musical festival that takes place in Nevada. 
The garden, at the corner of Northeast 62nd Street and Northeast Fourth Avenue, will be open to the public from 5 p.m. to midnight during Art Basel week. Post-Basel hours haven't been decided yet.
"We envision this growing," Cho said. 
For more on the innovation district, read the Miami Herald's story here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article117886193.html

Art Basel: Must-see art at Context

Jerry Meyer's room installation for Denise Bibro Fine Art at Context is called "Understanding My Great-Grandfather's Attempts to Turn Sexual Energy into Electricity to Power Small Machinery Based on the Principles of Sigmund Freud and Nicola Tesla" and it lives up to the name.

Kendall Hamersly


Art Basel: Mana Wynwood opens with Mozart and Video

The performance featured in Tuesday's opening night celebration for Mana Contemporary in Wynwood and the Pinta Latin American art fair was highly pedigreed: renowned violinist Julian Rachlin, performing Mozart's Concerto No. 5 in A Major with the PhilarMIA orchestra, accompanied by the adroit and charismatic Spanish dancer Jesus Pastor. And though the performance was called "Viola Meets Mozart," the Bill Viola video work "Inverted Birth" was shown afterwards. Though much shorter and less elaborate, it made ten times the impact of the first part of the evening.

The setting was austere - a vast, black-painted space at Mana Wynwood, an enormous former shipping warehouse, filled with some 2,000 clear plastic chairs neatly lined up to face a stage. No drinks, no food, no fripperies until after the show. Still, the house was full.  

Photo by Penn Eastburn for Mana Common

The music was exquisitely played. Pastor, a muscular, fluid dancer with a vivid, mime/clown-like presence, (emphasized by a multi-color suit), improvised in ways that highlighted or mirrored the music's moods. He flipped and jumped and played, or stood, arms opening slowly, as Rachlin reached a poignant climax. But the two things together didn't add up to more than the sum of their parts - it was clever and entertaining, certainly. But it was a bit like a classy version of adding animation to classical music, as if it weren't enough on its own.

"Inverted Birth," however, was perfectly simple - and stunning. Viola is a veteran of the avant-garde (he worked with the brilliant choreographer Merce Cunningham, always a good sign) and this video perfectly unites concept with expression. On a tall screen, we saw a barechested man soaked by black liquid, the only sound a few drops hitting the floor - he seems overcome, drowning. Slowly, the drops reverse, becoming a stream flowing upwards, first black, then red, then white; when the liquid goes clear, and we see the man's face, it's exhilarating. That clear upward flowing waterfall gradually ends as well, revealing the man, dry, open, unaffected. All Viola has done is reverse film of liquid falling on a single man. Yet the effect is magical: as if time and gravity were reversed, disorienting and exhilarating. - Jordan Levin

Erotic Pairing: Leah Schrager Photos and F-Word Film at Cinematheque


Photographer Leah Schrager is an unabashed exhibitionist. As a "Fourth Wave Feminist," she uses her (often manipulated) selfies to provoke examination of taboos regarding women's bodies and against eroticism in art. "Just because something elicits arousal or shows elements of sexiness does absolutely not make it not art." She's also an active proponent of agency for professional models. Her new photographic series, "Glitter Peach", curated by filmmaker Robert Adanto, opens tonight (Wednesday) at MiamiBeach Cinematheque in South Beach at 5:30pm. Adanto will then screen his interview-based documentary about radical feminist performance, called "The F Word." 

MiamiBeach Cinematheque 
City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave. South Side, Ground Floor
Miami Beach

Leah Schrager, Glitter Peach

Perez Art Museum of Miami and KROMA hosts soiree with artist, David Driskell

For the opening night of Miami Art Week at the Perez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM), KROMA Art Space & Studios located in Coconut Grove collaborated with PAMM for Raison d'Art - A Celebration of The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland. The soiree hosted an intimate conversation with artist and scholar David C. Driskell, one of the leading authorities on the subject of African-American art. Moderated by actress and philanthropist Sherry Bronfam, the discussion reflected on the importance of collecting and preserving the cultural legacy of African-American art, and Mr. Driskell reflected on his own early years as an artist. Still at a young 85-years old, Mr. Driskell still shows a burning passion for African-American art and culture.

The soiree benefited PAMM's African-American Art Fund with KROMA presenting a $5,000 contribution towards the fund to PAMM director, Franklin Sirmans. Raison d'Art is part of the Art of Black event presented by the Multicultural Tourism Department at the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB).

Fabiola Fleuranvil

IG: @MiamiFabulous

David Driskell PAMM.jpg

PRIZM Art Fair Exalts Many Hues of Blackness

Director Mikhaile Solomon has widened the global footprint of the Art Week fair she founded four years ago now in a larger Little River venue with extended programming. Her consistent focus is presenting artists of the African Diaspora and showcasing the diversity of their themes and expressions.

As in previous years, she's invited guest curators, while making many of the 60+ selections herself. She has included first-time and repeat artists from the United States, the Caribbean and several African nations. Miami's highly-regarded itinerant curator, William Cordova, combines his intimate knowledge of this region's most distinctive if sometimes lesser-known talents, and they get strong representation. But his national connections that stem from residencies and guest curating gigs around the country give him broad reach. He totally "gets" Solomon's vision and shares his expertise in developing synergies among the works, which include sculpture, painting, graphics and video. 


Asser Saint-Val, "Untitled" at PRIZM Art Fair

Harlem-based television producer and filmmaker Kirsten Magwood is the third curator. Her exhibition Callipygous Complex extolls the sensuality of the female derriere, while also raising issues of objectification and power relationships. She brings a light touch while mixing powerful sensuality with sharp critique. Her exhibition is in part a fund-raiser for a film she's undertaking that explores kindred themes to those underlying her contribution to PRIZM.

The New York-based Rush Philanthropic Foundation, which has provided ongoing support to Solomon and Cordova, installed an outstanding set of 20 prints, created by residency alumnae from the past 20 years. 

Wednesday evening, after exhibition hours, PRIZM takes over the Miami Science Museum Barge for a program of critics' talks, discussion and a dinner, presented by the Copper Door restaurant.

Two performances form Thursday evening's program. Exhibiting graphic artist and sculptor Nyugen Smith, orchestrates a three-generation Salvation Army band in a musical conversation between the marching band tradition and his family's Haitian heritage.


Nyugen Smith, "Spirit Carrier" installation at PRIZM Art Fair

Ayana Evans presents a purification ceremony that delves into diverse notions of cleanliness. The title, "Gurl I'd Drink Your Bath Water" evokes the carnal associations with bathing, while cultural and religious dimensions comprise other layers.

Friday noon to 5 p.m. features a series of panel discussions by arts coop leaders, educators, artists and Rush Foundation members on various hot topics that hold special relevance to people of color.

7230 NW Miami Ct., Miami http://www.prizmartfair.com

Through Dec. 15.


- George Fishman



Powered by TypePad