Adderall-laced paintings and tableaus of handmade miniature men's suits in retail settings -- complete with custom dust balls on the lighting grid (genius!) -- are highlights of two of Miami's more provocative art installations currently on display.
The opening party for UNIX Fine Art gallery in the blossoming Wynwood Arts District (now home to 50 galleries and four museums) featured artists including cult favorite Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC), aka L.A.-based artist Jonathan Paul, whose pop, conceptual and appropriation artwork carries deliciously satirical messages and dark takes on middle-class American values. "I ingest, then digest," the artist has stated. "Art is really just a mirror of ourselves."
How then to explain the pop canvas awash in paint that has been blended with ADHD drug, Adderall? Or the giant, high-gloss Blow Pop in bubblegum pink? The chocolate bar crosses that appear to say "Hershey" but, upon closer inspection, read "Heresy"? The portrait of Marilyn comprised of pill capsules?
Sometimes, it's best not to ask, although the Marilyn-dolls reference was an easy one, even for us.
At the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, New York-based artist Charles LeDray has four works on display, each made by hand with materials that range from vintage fabric to human bone. The major installation, Men's Suits, which takes up an entire floor of the museum, is comprised of three large-scale tableaus in which teeny-tiny men's clothing (all made by hand, down to the sequin-sized carved horn buttons and doll-sized leather gloves) and is arranged in retail settings on racks, tables and mannequins.
Curated by the museum's adjunct curator Steven Holmes, the installation is both nostalgic and slightly haunting. We were obsessed, spending a full hour circling, observing and marveling at LeDray's immense patience -- the installation took three years to complete -- and steady hand, presumably from a lack of caffeine consumption.
MEN'S SUITS debuted at the museum's annual fundraiser, A Night at the Museum, which drew a full house of art lovers, many dressed for the occasion in personal expressions that included neon jeans, 1980s-hued hair streaks, vintage cocktail dresses and even a vest made from repurposed aluminum soda can pop-tops.
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