Xaviera Simmons: Open at David Castillo Gallery

So now that Art Basel has passed, the Christmas weight is bearing down and the New Year's taxes are upon us, where on earth could we find anything to challenge our minds without challenging our wallets? How about a stroll into internationally-renowned multidisciplinary artist Xaviera Simmons' first solo exhibition with David Castillo in Wynwood...stimulating, colorful, and free. Everyone wins. Or do they?

Simmons' practice has focused on creating humanoid forms, conjoined in strange locations with highly problematic results: whose body is it? How does it communicate and is it, itself, receptive to the spoken, written or performed gesture? Her photographs and poetic paneling are laid out with razor-sharp precision across the gallery space, where accepted limits of text and image are questioned and pushed. What appear to be torsos are collections of amulets, jewelry, postcards and crumpled papers, set into a perfectly filled pair of jeans or tights. Large, black boxes are filled top to bottom with white lettering: lyrical odes and memories of the natural world with hints of human interaction. In short, Simmons reminds her audience that our perception of body, memory, poetry and object is ruled by the senses. But even those can trick us. So what do we believe? Nothing and everything.

Simmons received her BFA from Bard College (2004) after spending two years on a walking pilgrimage retracing the transatlantic slave trade with Buddhist monks. She completed the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program in Studio Art (2005) while simultaneously completing a two-year actor-training conservatory with The Maggie Flanigan Studio. Simmons work and performances have been hosted by The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, The Studio Museum In Harlem, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Public Art Fund, and The Sculpture Center. Her works are held in the public and private collections of Deutsche Bank, UBS, The Guggenheim Museum, The Agnes Gund Art Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCA Miami, and Pérez Art Museum Miami. Simmons lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

David Castillo Gallery opened in 2005 under sole ownership after transforming a dilapidated warehouse in Miami, Florida into a 5,000 square-foot gallery. The gallery exhibits mid-career and emerging artists, both international and local. David Castillo Gallery’s focus is on conceptual curatorial models as they relate to art historical, cultural, and personal investigations of identity. The gallery works with artists committed to the integrity of their individual histories and studio practices as agents of contemporary climate.

Xaviera Simmons: Opened on December 2nd, 2013 and runs until January 21st. David Castillo Gallery is located at 2234 NW 2nd Avenue in Wynwood. For more information, call (305) 573-8110 or visit www.davidcastillogallery.com

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