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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Miami scene and be seen

Just recovering from a Friday night studio party at the Bakehouse, between the Design district and Wynwood. 70 artists opened their studios for the evening as a fund raiser for the organization. Walking from studio to studio, I was full of excitement for the energy and the variety of work. The Bakehouse is a communal studio building for midcareer and emerging artists. There is a lot of work that, by it's very nature, speaks of exploration and materialization. Nothing was too light or pat. A lot of the work spoke of struggle. There were paintings of giant beetle bugs, portraits of the president, renderings of wigs with a Victorian era curio cabinet feel, cartoons and graffiti, installations of braided steel wool, and burned books under glass. One artist sewed photographs into a bed quilt, and then used the same photographs in 20 other installments. The studios looked like laboratories and then again... many looked like living rooms! (Artists know how to disguise a sows ear.) It was interesting in that you could see the background and formative environment to a piece that would fit nicely into your own living room. Hopefully many sales were made.
Feeling a bit snobbish... the next day I could barely recall a work or an artist that held my interest past the initial exposure. Of the few that did...there was an artist professor doing fine pastel renditions of geological treasures... a guy with a great sense of dark humor doing collage paintings of houses with hovering black clouds...and a woman doing lovely pastels of palm fronds and mangoes... and a guy doing wild surreal botanicals with his feet ("floor-als") and imagination. Those pieces showed great design, techinical skill AND an ability to carry through to a natural conclusion. As a result of all the parts being put together with grace and care, there was hope for the spiritual side of an art factory. I look forward to seeing more...

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