Drawing Conclusions, a new, unusual exhibit at the Buena Vista Building, sounds like Kraft but runs deep into our subjectivities about making marks on things. Give Miami credit for supporting work that has guts. CNN images and worries about the future blend into lines, color and language that is the post-modern landscape.
The people whose work went into this show are merging design and concept to take feeling a few steps forward. Among Miamian names Weston Charles, David Rohn, Martin Oppel, and Bhakti Baxter is fifteen-year-old from Overtown, Tavaris Evans, who decided to do art instead of drugs. His piece “Zeta” is made of electrical tape and oil pastel on paper–raw, powerful art.
Curator Nina Arias sees the show “extending the definition of drawing.” “You can’t define drawing [just as] right or wrong,” she says. Who we are, why do we do as we do, awe with existence and magic inspire this exhibition. It takes out the borders and dividers then loses the ground beneath and where it lands will pan out in the future. It is relevant because it lingers with a feeling of eerie bewilderment. The mind reads it and the heart wants to run because no one likes to look at him or herself for too long at a time.
As far as the importance of drawing to art goes, this exhibit shows that just as clay or wood are mediums teeming with metaphor, the mark and the mark’s home give artists the opportunity to redefine the artistic process. Humans have a strange need to express themselves perpetually and uniquely–pouring your soul finely on paper leaves your mark for the world to see, just as tagging and graffiti stamps your signature on the streets. Some might call this part of the evolution process.
Weston Charles, an alumni of the MFA program at UM and one of the founders of the alternative art space Locust Projects, provided his “Lipstick and Doggie Dick Series” of oil on paper drawings which explore the associations of sexuality in female teenage culture and the humanization of accessory dogs. It has become a stable in South Beach for women and men to have small canines that are subjected to humiliatingly whimsical treatment by their masters. One couple from the beach put a pink ribbon on the head of their poodle and when asked what her name was, they responded, “She is a He. This is South Beach honey.”
Some of the work here is good and some of the work is revolutionary, though it is all interesting. Miami isn’t a big shot yet such as cities like New York for American Art. What we have, though, is the massive Caribbean and Latin influence as well as a “healthy” relationship to Europe. The frontier of contemporary art is pulsating out of the Design District. For anyone who is seeking a refreshing soul in Miami, it lies under 395 and 195 is fully self-sustainable. Apart from the Everglades and the ocean, the Design District is most natural thing around here.
Drawing Conclusions opens for an encore at the Buena Vista Building,180 NE 39th St., 2nd Floor Suite #218, on Saturday, February 15 from 7:00 to 11:00pm and the closing is Friday February 28 from 7:00 to 11:00pm. Call 305-576-5166 for more info.
Alex Saleeby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org