Normally one thinks of a swamp as a particularly unpleasant location: one that upsets the olfactory and tactile senses with pungent mud, mosquitoes, scavenger animals and oppressively sour weather. Oliver Sanchez thinks otherwise. A swamp could, theoretically, be an ecosystem that is interesting, active and ceaseless under its ugly surface; this particular environment is one that Florida is quite familiar with. At least, those that have been around long enough to experience it pre-real restate, pre-manufactured islands and pre-Kardashians.

Categories Art
TAGS art, swapspace

Performance art (or internationally-known simply as Performance) is quickly becoming a visual arts medium vitally important to the cultural landscape in Miami. There are crescendoes of performance artists (including those based in Miami) winning statewide and national grants, as well as coveted spots in international visual arts residency programs.

If there is such a thing as virtual reality, Jillian Mayer has wrangled it into a packaged experience worthy of the most complex digitized environments available anywhere (and everywhere). Locust Projects, true to its mission of providing experimental forms of art to the local community and support for the artists invited to participate, has presented an impressive collection of performances and multi-media installations that captures Mayer’s fascination with the way human beings act and react within a world increasingly reliant on digital technology. In effect, Mayer asks: if the world we live in is structured and enhanced using ephemeral code and electrical signals, whose brain is doing the work? Ours or the computerized being? The fractured digital domain is one that is simultaneously problematic, at times ethically fraught, but enjoyable and desirable.

Categories Art

Private art collections, specifically those open to the public, can be intimidating if not exclusionary places. Walls and floors scattered with expensive (often, prohibitively expensive) artworks, mostly speaking to advanced movements within conceptual, minimalist, installation and new media forms which appear unfamiliar and, sometimes, unfriendly to the general visitor. The key to opening such a treasure chest, and assuring its visitors that its gems are not beyond the sight of the public eye, is extending educational and outreach programming meant to connect non-industry viewers to the artists, curators, critics and collectors themselves who built the vessel. Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz are two such collectors who have capably opened their mammoth private cache of works from Ana Mendieta, Carlos Alfonzo, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Sigmar Polke, Allora & Calzadilla, Aaron Curry, Martin Creed and Gerhard Richter (as examples) to Miami and beyond.

Categories Art

Among the private contemporary art collections in Miami, the Craig Robins Collection at DACRA (housed in the Miami Design District, of which Robins is its principal founder and developer) is one that uniquely inspires a certain element of mystery. It is not a question of accessibility (the collection is open Monday through Friday by appointment), nor is there a faint question of its prominence both in local and international circles. The curious nature of the collection lies in a brand of elegant mischief, a postmodern humor courtesy of its visionary artists and, to a degree, its charming patron.

Categories Art