A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Screw Valentines Day, what are we going to eat?


HATE Flyer / Confection Flyer.


In addition to a few events of merit happening in Wynwood this weekend (notably Tom Scicluna’s “Pinched” at the David Castillo annex and a presentation of Cady Noland’s iconic 1987 essay “The Meta-language of Evil” at Dorsch Gallery in relation to their current exhibition “A Perfect Human” (both 7 – 10 pm)), there are a couple of privately curated group shows a little further a field which promise to be worth the venture.


In order of their proximity to Wynwood they are “HATE,” an anti Valentines Day presentation of Miami artists courtesy of Miami artist Justin Long opening on Saturday and “Confection,” a charity bake sale art exhibition of Miami artists curated by Pres Rodriguez opening on Friday.


HATE Flyer.


The press release for HATE, which opens in The Buick Building (3841 NE 2nd Ave. Suite 103) this Saturday states: “Far away from Philly’s LOVE park comes an art show of brotherly hate. An assemblage of people not known for their artistic ability but, for their passionate negativity towards the world. This hatred is necessary in the balance of life and should be given the respect it deserves.”


Being an exhibition curated by an artist (especially Justin Long) and comprising of mainly non-artists one can expect a barrel of unconventionality. The works, presented in a space loaned by Craig Robins and priced at the whim of those with little or no experience of the art world are expected quite rightly to resonate within the framework of their rather subjective grounding. Contextually the show relies upon a somewhat controversial reverence for distain; it is unclear at this stage, however, whether the organizers have anticipated the possibility that this reverence may not be shared by the public or if the realization of such an eventuality is an intentional part of the exhibition’s bigger picture.


A collaborative work by Meatball and Till Koerber.


Justin Long states: “The origins for the show come from the “Hallmark” holiday which the show opens on.  It is a holiday about love, but there is no holiday about hate. With that in mind I wanted to give some people that have a lot of hate in themselves the opportunity to balance out this day of love. I curated the show so that it includes people that are very negative and have strong opinions about why they hate things.  The group are all friends of mine, and most of them have never been in an art show or have any art education.”


A work by Richard Del Forn.


With regard to the works he continues to say: “Some of the works on display will be a diesel powered art destroying machine, a large embroidered hateful banner, surrealist painting, drawing of the most offensive bicycle frame ever, and maybe a murdered seagull. It is a show in a nice space with a bunch of crazy haters that don’t read Art Forum and couldn’t care less about the art world. The biggest problem has been motivating the artists and organizing the logistics of getting all the work as well as keeping from censoring them in any way.”


Tranny by Dub Murla.


The exhibition which is held in a space with no particular history (other than a furniture showroom) piggy backs off of an iconic work of art that it really has nothing at all to do with – its logo is a parody of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures. Featuring brand new work by a host of unknowns including Barrett Long, Till Koerber, Joe Draye, Meatball, Elizabeth Tracy, Giles Neale, Dub Murla, Pablo Gonzalez, Ian Arenas, Pogo Evans, Ellen and Ian Ball, and Richard Del Forn this show will either provide you with the outlet you have been looking for or infuriate you on too many levels. Either way, it seems, it will have succeeded.


Confection Flyer.


Even further away from Wynwood there will be Confection at O.H.W.O.W. (3100 NW 7th Ave). Where as HATE is reacting to Valentines Day, Confection apppears to be reacting to the economy. Centered around a bake sale theme artists have made a variety of contextually symphonious works ranging from actual baked goods to work that in some way or another deals with food, the kitchen, or the community. All proceeds of the exhibition will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank. More of an event than an exhibition, Confection will conclude Friday night so if you miss it, you missed it.


Conceived in late December the exhibition was initially about bringing the local art community together in one place. Since then the failing economy has seen many people, in particular the curators mother, several friends and 60 colleagues, laid off. In these lean times the exhibition has evolved from a just another novelty group show into a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people to come together and enjoy lighthearted constructive event in a somewhat gloomy time.


Alvaro Ilizarbe, Piewalk, 2009. Video Still.


Pres Rodriguez states: “Almost all of the projects that I get involved in have some level of affordable art. I like allowing everyone a chance to participate in some way. Some artists are baking their pieces so you could potentially buy someone’s art for $5 although the is anything up to $2,500 at this point. It’s a charity bake sale to benefit the Daily Bread Food Bank a local not-for-profit organization that provides food, groceries and programs to fight hunger in South Florida. They’ve been around a long time and serve among others the community where the gallery is located. We were looking for a charity that either dealt with food or the arts and served the local community. They made sense for this occasion.”


Michael Genovese, Secrets and confessions #1, 2008. Audience centered metal drawing, baked enamel finish. 24 x 24 inches.


O.H.W.O.W’s  inaugural exhibition in December was very successful and drew much traffic to an otherwise out of the way venue, but was comprised almost entirely of non-local artists. For their second exhibition the owners wanted something more locally focused. A big advantage that the space has, one which is shared to a lesser extend by The Buick Building, is that it is very much neutral. O.H.W.O.W are not looking to represent artists, but rather host good events and exhibitions. This gives the gallery the opportunity to be very flexible and try different things, hence Confection.


But what of pulling the support of so many Miami artists? Rodriguez states: “That it wasn’t very difficult. I heard very few “no’s”. And when I did it was due to scheduling. Most of the artists here are very down to earth. It’s great to see so many of them embrace working a little outside of their comfort zone and trying something different than what they normally do. We also have some restaurants, caterers and just regular folks that bake really well donating baked goods too. Once the word got out about the show I started getting approached by a lot of people who wanted to contribute. And really, who doesn’t like sweets?! The most problematic aspect to this exhibition was timing; we just had a month to put it together. In addition, the fact that the format of the exhibition is food based work is also a bit of a problem as it means that many works will have to be installed in the gallery on the day of the show. Friday is going to be very intense in the hours before opening.”


Alvaro Ilizarbe, Piewalk, 2009. Video Still.


The works in question at Confection are all based on food, the kitchen, and/or community. There will be cakes with found photography printed on them, audience participation based engravings on metal, a dance video in front of a montage of people getting pied in the face, a giant wall piece made of lard and drano, drawings, photos and baked goods…lots and lots of baked goods. As well as some surprises. Really, being there is the only way to experience the show and so again it seems pertinent to mention that IT WILL ONLY BE UP FOR ONE NIGHT.


So enjoy this month’s offerings, the throng of Wynwood and the many shows there, but if you have ample means and perhaps a little appetite (or perhaps a strong stomach) then venture further than your meandering feet would ordinarily take you and check out a couple of shows whose reactionary elements and presently unconventional venues whether you like them or not are direct bi-products of our changing times[.]



Confection opens Friday Feb 13th at at O.H.W.O.W. Gallery (3100 NW 7th Ave).

HATE opens Saturday Fed 14th at The Buick Building (3841 NE 2nd Ave. Suite 103).


In addition, Spinello Gallery has a double first on the 14th: TYPOE’s long awaited solo show opens the gallery’s new location on NE 82nd Street.


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Screw Valentines Day, what are we going to eat?