Primary Projects' "International Friendship Exhibition": American Kitsch Glorified

Photos by Shelly Davidov
Autumn Casey, Judgement
Known as a venue friendly to local artists, Primary Projects doesn't disappoint with its Art Basel gathering of Miami creatives.

The "International Friendship Exhibition", a group show of 19 artists, including Autumn Casey, Jim Drain, Gavin Perry, Asif Farooq, Magnus Sodamin, Cole Sternberg, Cody Hudson, and Michael Vasquez, is titled in reference to Kim Jong-il's gift pavilion of the same name. The exhibition pays homage to the nature of contradiction, a concept ironically exemplified in the kitsch-and-propaganda-filled pavilion in North Korea.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Local Gallery Guide

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Artist Jorge Enrique Enjoys Fame in Europe While Working Anonymously in Wynwood

Jorge Enrique - Vessel
It feels lazy to call Miami-based artist Jorge Enrique a mixed media artist. He blends image and sculpture so thoroughly it confounds the mind. Look deeper at his three-dimensional works hanging off of walls or stretching up from the ground and you will find elements of photography hidden beneath brush strokes. The form of these objects (a descriptor he sometimes uses in the titles of his works) also hearken back to a period when he dabbled in the study of architecture.

The work of this Cuban-born artist is painting, sculpture and architecture at once. It began simply enough, looking out upon the concrete landscape of Wynwood, the Miami neighborhood where Enrique has resided at various studio spaces for the past 15 years. It began with photographing mundane objects like manhole covers and consideration of "mankind's history in asphalt." Then it turned to monoprints of the street. With just paper and ink, he and a group of assistants would "lift" images from the ground on giant, 40-inch roles of monoprint. Then he would wash some of it away, silkscreen it and wrap it around blocks of wood, completely re-imagining the urban landscape of Wynwood. Primary colors of blue and yellow offer highlight in the predominately black, white and gray works.

See also: Pearl Paint Art Supply Store Recreated in Wynwood

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Folding the Black Flag at Space Mountain

Categories: Art

Courtesy of Space Mountain
Folding the Black Flag is "an exploration of Nihilist Poetics formed through collaborative installation and an extended series of 'Performance Not-Happenings' from New York City to Miami. The exposition is an attempt to 'fold' both in the sense of pack-up/give-up abandon, and of rehistoricization and temporal revisionism - to actively create a new past by reorganizing and layering its facts (can the Dadaists, for instance, be written onto the Black Panther Party?)..."

Though this collaboration between James Concannon and Kalan Sherrard at Space Mountain might be heavy on extolling the absurd nature of the contemporary art scene, they do it under the guise of deconstruction. As they explain in their acerbically lengthy manifesto, "to 'fold' is to diminish, to package and reshape, to layer and reform, but also to abandon, give up, and jump ship."

That might be true, but the continued folding of say, a piece of paper, will eventually strengthen that paper exponentially.

See also: Space Mountain Miami Opens: "An Opportunity for Spontaneity" in Little Haiti

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MSG Cartel's Locals Only Art Basel Show: "Paintings That Don't Cost Thousands"

via Quake
The mighty MSG
While other artists fight for space in Wynwood, the notorious MSG Crew have a 340,000 square foot building to paint however they want.

The former Biscayne Plaza, a main site of the Michael Bay action flick Pain & Gain, is now called Midpoint, and as part of its renovation and re-introduction to the community, the developers have opened their doors with 305 pride for an art show called Locals Only starring Miami's Style Gods themselves.

We caught up with MSG Quake to find out about their New Era snapback collabo, big pieces, and slanging canvas.

See also: Vice Gallery in Wynwood Opens With MSG Crew Show: "They're Not 16 Years Old Anymore"

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Baz Luhrmann Dazzles at Basel, While Local Gallery Snubs Us

Photo by George Martinez
Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin.
Every year there's always the ridiculous cry that Art Basel's Miami Beach incarnation (and Miami's entire art scene) is all fluff and no substance, and that the art world is ready to pack up and leave. (For example: see Brett Sokol's hilarious piece for the New York Times.)

Fact is, the art world relishes all things celebrity and if they can use it for their advantage, god dammit, they're going to. And Miami Beach -- more so than its Swiss counterpart -- provides plenty of those opportunities.

You're a whore, art world. Own up to it.

That's not to say the seedy mix of art and celebrities is a bad thing. In fact, great things can come from such pairings (beyond just getting tons of press).

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Philip Haas Unveils "Four Seasons" at Pinecrest Gardens

Categories: Art

Annette Bonnier courtesy of Pinecrest Gardens
It's hard to remember that Pinecrest Gardens has been operating out of that quiet corner in the Village of Pinecrest once inhabited by Parrot Jungle for over a decade now. It's a much needed part of South Florida, a garden and a designated zone for the "cultural enrichment," history, and environmental preservation diverse ecosystems. With thousands of varieties of rare tropical and exotic plants, acres of native forested wetlands and tropical hardwood hammocks, Pinecrest Gardens is an unassuming behemoth hidden in a residential zone.

With its natural beauty, tight paths, shady canopies and open areas, Pinecrest Gardens is an ideal place to exhibit sculpture. In a show of force designed to herald its entry into Art Basel's satellite and peripheral exhibits, they've landed a six-month exhibit of Philip Haas' well-known quartet of large-scale sculptures, the "Four Seasons."

See also: Pinecrest Gardens Green Market: Hand-Crafted Local Foods (Photos)

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ICA Miami: "Goodoo" Dolls, Melting Ladies, and Mental Help (Photos)

Carolina del Busto
As far as new museums go, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is unique in that it's currently setting up shop within the Moore Building in the Design District. Oh, yeah, and it was forged out of a dispute from the people behind the board of directors over at North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

While the ICA waits in hopefulness for a more permanent building to call home, the museum has seen fit to officially open its doors to the public during Miami Art Week. It's only the best possible timing.

See also: Miami's Newest Museum Offers Some Serious Art Therapy

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Attendees Get Dirty, Make Art at Basel's Opening

Image by Neil Vazquez
Falsnaes giving instructions to a volunteer
Last night Art Basel kicked off with the official opening reception at Collins Park. The manicured patch of greenery located in front of the Bass Museum is a part of Basel's Public Sector, featuring large sculptures, installations and performances accessible to the general public. Tuesday night's event, however, was anything but public. The catered event hosted over 3,000 locals and art pilgrims where they got an exclusive glimpse at what curators have put together.

The night's break out star was Front, a performance piece led by Danish artist Christian Falsnaes.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Fairs Guide

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Non-Profits Raise Awareness of Arts Funding During Basel

Courtesy of The Motivational Edge
Arts and music education are often the first things to get eliminated when budget cuts come a-rolling. Educators certainly know the impact that arts have on kids even though administrators overlook it. So in the times of budget cutbacks and disinterest in arts funding, it's now up to outside organizations like Guitars Over Guns and The Motivational Edge to nurture all forms of creativity for young people.

During Miami Art Week, two non-profits have joined with KIND snacks to showcase not a bunch of foreign artists, but rather the work and talent of local kids.

With the #ichooseart movement, these organizations want to show the significance of choosing art as an alternative outlet for entertainment rather than other not-so-safe ways, which is often the case for many at-risk youths.

See also: Wynwood's Jose de Diego Middle School Transformed With Street Art (Photos)

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Scope Miami Beach: Sex and Satire Rule the Showcase of Korean Art Trends

Photo by Neil Vazquez
Scope Miami Beach opens its doors the to the general public today and festival goers are about to get a taste of some of the best contemporary art around the globe. Where else but in this billowy white tent on 9th and Ocean Drive can work from Havana, Seoul, New Orleans, and Buenos Aires stand shoulder to shoulder, awaiting the eager gaze of critics and art lovers alike?

This year's exhibition doesn't disappoint. With over a 130 galleries squeezed into maze-like alcoves, navigating the show's vast expanse can prove tricky for even the most seasoned connoisseurs.

Don't fret, we're here to break down the shows that stand-out from the pack.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Fairs Guide

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