Second Saturday Art Walk Guide: October's Eight Unmissable Shows
With Art Basel Miami Beach just a couple of months away from focusing the art world's critical eye squarely on Wynwood, the standard move for area galleries is to showcase their biggest names during October's art walk rather than rolling the dice on unknowns.
But both Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art and O. Ascanio Gallery, separated by just a few blocks on NW Second Avenue, are betting that they can catch eyeballs by bucking that trend and turning their spaces over to first-time solo shows this weekend.
The two artists they're highlighting during one of the season's busiest Second Saturdays couldn't be from more divergent backgrounds. Both, however, try to interpret Miami's gritty urban landscape in a gallery setting -- and both are already creating buzz among collectors.
Beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday belly up to the free wine-sipping conga line through the district and you'll discover a glut of other eclectic solos promising to leave you sated. Here are our top picks to savor.
Inside Shienbaum's gallery, the local street artist who operates under the name "Clandestine Culture," has re-created the entire exterior of a Wynwood warehouse. The 30-foot-long street installation includes a cement sidewalk, a chainlink fence, barbed wire, plywood panels, and a 30-foot street-art mural with the help of some of his graffiti/street-artist friends, who collaborated with him on the project.
The exhibit also includes about 30 of his trademark latex-paint-on-paper posters depicting protesters, police in riot gear, portraits of strangers, and others -- most with the artist's street name printed across the bottom. But some will wonder if the faux warehouse façade was necessary or just a street cred conceit. After all, one can look outside the windows and see the real stuff everywhere, and this was an opportunity for the artist's work to stand on its own.
Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, 2239 NW Second Ave., Miami. 305-205-9089, gsfineart.com.
Hester Esquenazi marks her Wynwood debut at the O. Ascanio Gallery with a show close to 20 years in the making. The Colombian-born, Miami-based artist worked in fashion photography shooting everything from brides to babies, and later doing commercial work for catalogues, especially lingerie. While living in her homeland, Esquenazi spent two decades taking pictures of "tits and ass nonstop," she says.
But after relocating to Miami in 2001, she began to feel desperate to return to her roots as an artist. More recently, she's turned her lens on some of South Florida's most recognizable landmarks, including Marlins Park and Herzog & de Meuron's parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Rd. Her process is labor-intensive, and her wall-engulfing photographs impeccably executed. Typically she photographs an image during quiet moments of solitary introspection. Upon returning to her studio, she digitalizes the pictures and painstakingly doctors them pixel-by-pixel, working on each image upward of a month at a time until each is reconceptualized, not unlike an architectural drawing.
O. Ascanio Gallery, 2600 NW Second Avenue, Miami. 305-571-9036, oascaniogallery.com.