20081215

Wynwood Art District: Gallery Openings




The second Saturday of each month is gallery night at Miami's Wynwood Art District. In the aftermath of Art Basel, and with the economy being what it is, the turnout was extremely low.

The crowds were down from even the slow summer months, with several galleries closed for the evening. Worse yet, some appeared shut for good.

The upside was at least two new venues have appeared on the Wynwood scene, one being Joey's Wynwood, open just one week. Joey's is an Italian cafe' with a modern atmosphere and friendly staff. My companion and I ordered a "small" 12" pizza, a beer and a glass of Sangiovese wine. The bill came to under twenty-five dollars, a bargain by Miami standards. The pizza was only ten dollars- hard to believe. We wondered how long the restaurant would continue to offer such reasonable prices. From what I could tell- a bad cold having dulled my sense of taste- the food was good.

The other new venue we encountered was Mac Art Group Fine Art Miami, which opened two months ago. We were greeted by a professional and knowledgeable associate named Gabriela Destinay. We were intrigued and awed by the work of California sculptor David Middlebrook. Working with stone, aluminum and bronze, Middlebrook's work appears to defy gravity. A hovering aluminum bundle held down by canvas straps, and a teetering stone egg perched atop a tattered cardboard box played on our perceptions of materiality; for the straps were not canvas, and the box not cardboard. Even when we knew these objects were heavy bronze, our mind and eyes remained simultaneously unconvinced. I was particularly drawn to the sculpture pictured above, Bound and Determined, 39 x 40 x 30", bronze and aluminum (photo from Brenda Taylor Gallery website). Haunting yet whimsical, it has a certain sadness and beauty which was very appealing.

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