In the Miami art scene, August is usually even deader than July, with every sane moneyed person traveling elsewhere during this brutally hot month. So it’s surprising that galleries in Wynwood and the Design District have plenty of new exhibitions opening in time for Art Walk on Saturday. Another pleasant surprise: the shows aim squarely at locals. Here are the exhibitions on our radar.
Radical Genealogy: the Decline of Dauphins, Courtesans, and Hounds @ Hardcore Art Contemporary Space
El Nuevo Herald art critic Adriana Herrera and Willy Castellanos of the Aluna Curatorial Collective explore some heady themes with this collection of paintings by 24-year-old Cuban artist Carlos Gamez de Francisco. Heavy on classical technique and political imagery, the textured, cheeky works appropriate images of decadent French rulers and philosophers to comment on communist Cuba’s similar failures. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Hardcore Art Contemporary Space website.
AHOL SNIFFS GLUE: Hit and Run @ Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art
Last month, beloved local street artist AHOL SNIFFS GLUE (pictured above in front of one of his iconic eye patterns) unhappily found himself among the growing collection of hit and run victims in Miami. As the shiny-grilled man about town explained, he was heading south on Biscayne Boulevard near N.E. 71st Street on a rainy night when an elderly woman hit him, stopped, apologized, and sped away.
AHOL wound up in the hospital with circulatory issues in his legs and the expected bumps, scrapes, bruises, and a limp. All told, he remained bed-ridden and unable to work for two weeks. Like so many other artists, though, he’s insurance-less and now stuck with the bills and no legal recourse. This benefit show at Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art is a solo exhibition of AHOL’s work, with Shienbaum giving all art-sale proceeds on Saturday night to cover the artist’s medical costs. Anyone can donate smaller amounts, though, and enjoy complimentary Abuelo Rum cocktails and a DJ set by Metro Zu. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art website.
Female Hu$tle @ Locust Projects
Artists Heather K. Wilson-Miller and Rosemarie Romero, Miami natives and MFA students at the University of Florida, teamed up for this unabashedly feminist show that aims to explore objectification and negative female stereotypes. Romero’s half is an interactive piece in which viewers can get manicures in a full nail salon and ponder reclaiming words like “bitch” and “slut”. Wilson-Miller’s, meanwhile, is somewhat more literal, focusing on a series of photos and sculptures of the female form, painted gold. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Locust Projects website.
OhSoulFresh: So Fresh @ Eleazar Delgado Studio
This show works as a gallery within a gallery, with the “urban contemporary” gallery OhSoulFresh taking over the Eleazar Delgado Studio for a group show featuring street artists gone legit. Most of the artists here got their start in the graffiti world, but have branched out and developed their own unique, eye-popping styles that go way beyond illegible letters. See works by Army of One/JC2, Burn353, Trek Six, Vince BadPanda Herrera (pictured above), and Whut. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the OhSoulFresh website.
Summer Photo Show 2012 @ Lunch Box Gallery
Lunch Box Gallery bucks the summer trend by launching the second annual edition of its group photography show, featuring works by 14 artists from around the world. The exhibit includes all styles of photography, and even some mixed-media works, promising top-notch talent that would be just as worthy of a look during higher-traffic months. Look out for local Lissette Schaeffler, whose contributions (including the above photo) document Miami’s seedy by-the-hour motels. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Lunch Box Gallery website.
kN0B0DY: Art Works by Jean Paul Mallozzi @ 101/Exhibit
Queens-bred, RISD-trained, South Florida-based artist JeanPaul Mallozzi celebrates his debut solo exhibition Saturday night thanks to 101/Exhibit and the Michael Margulies Artist Agency. Mallozzi has created a collection of mixed-media-on-paper works that explore the essence of various emotions. It’s not as heavy as it seems, though — Mallozzi’s work has a childlike, playful feel with intricate illustrations smudged or tweaked just enough to stay fun and not too serious. To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Michael Margulies Artist Agency website. (And if Mallozzi’s work looks familiar, you may recognize his portraits from Beached Miami sister site Sketchy Miami.)
Buildings & People @ LAB Miami
This solo show presents a collection of paintings and illustrations by Peruvian-born, Miami-based artist Fabian de la Flor that “explore the relationship between architectural space and the tedious social and cultural phenomenas that people experience in everyday life,” according to the exhibition description. “This documentation of urban life as it happens tells the story of struggles, hopes, and acceptance of cities and their influence on the people that inhabit them.” The show will include a pop-up shop with apparel, bags, prints, and comic books for sale, all made by the artist. For more details, visit LAB Miami’s Tumblr.
20 Something @ Once Arts Gallery
This exhibition will feature silkscreening by Dave L, Cromo, and Yuhmi Collective artists Mrs. & Mr. Vaz and live music by Deaf Poets. To learn more (actually, there’s not much more information out there), visit Once Arts Gallery’s FB page.