Miami New Times, LLC



Mind-bending portraits at Gregg Shienbaum.
Mind-bending portraits at Gregg Shienbaum.

What a difference a decade makes. In 2003, when the first Second Saturday Art Walk was launched by a small group of artists, dealers, and indie curators, no one could have predicted that a blighted Wynwood neighborhood would grow to rival SoHo and become the epicenter of South Florida's booming art scene.

Now, 3,650 days later, Wynwood has become a world-class cultural destination that includes dozens of galleries and studios, private museums, and a collection of street murals that regularly attract thousands of art lovers each month to what is arguably the Magic City's biggest social scene.

For proof, just look at the lineup of shows this weekend during the searing dog days of summer.

"Lost Boys." Think of forgotten Florida, and those old mementos discovered in grandma's attic — like a Weeki Wachee mermaid photo or a carved coconut head — likely come to mind. But in this two-person exhibit featuring the work of Miami artists Dogan Arslanoglu and Johnny Laderer, fading memories of the Sunshine State are the thematic engine fueling the show. Don't expect to find a flamingo figurine or an alligator ashtray here. Instead, Arslanoglu's photography and Laderer's sculpture function as conceptual souvenirs, marking a personal experience while articulating a nostalgia for Florida as it once was, as it can be, and as it is for the outsider. David Castillo Gallery, 2234 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8110; Opening reception 7 to 11 p.m.

"The Haunted Land." Midcareer Italian artists Dacia Manto and Patrizia Giambi are scaring up a shotgun wedding between nature and the mechanical to mark their South Florida debut. On view is a collection of mixed-media drawings and photo-based collages, not to mention some installations and videos in an intriguing exhibit organized by Black Square Gallery's director, Anna Milashevych, and Italian curator Sabrina Benvenuti. They say Manto and Giambi are exploring an indefinable space, both internal and external, to jolt viewers into confronting the unknown. Black Square Gallery, 2248 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-424-5002; Open noon to 9 p.m.

"Intro" and I'll Smile and I'm Not Sad. This pair of severely contrasting exhibits riffs on the nature of experimental theater and the last words of Texas death row inmates. The first, "Intro," marks the debut solo of Miami's Alan Gutierrez and boasts painting, sculpture, and video. A crafty Gutierrez tinkers with shades of a memory-play format to set the stage for an exhibition that comments on contemporary demands to perform. Meanwhile, Britain's Powell, who is based in the Big Apple, unsettles the senses with her muted video I'll Smile and I'm Not Sad, flickering with the final testaments of those executed in the Lone Star State since 1982. In the gallery's Atrium, don't miss Carolyn Salas' soaring abstract canvases teetering between painting and sculpture that seek to convey notions of an increasingly hybrid world. Emerson Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-576-1278; Open noon to 9 p.m.

"Violets Violence Silence." Don't let yourself be fooled that Gallery Diet is the site of a recent burglary. After all, what else might one think when entering a Wynwood gallery only to encounter a solitary painting on display? But that's part of the allure of one of the neighborhood's edgier spaces. It's showcasing one work at a time. Nathlie Provosty's wall-engulfing oil-on-linen painting, bearing the poetic title of her show, energizes the surrounding empty white cube with its forceful quartet of commanding circles that, like a Trojan horse, rope in the viewer. Gallery Diet, 174 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-571-2288; Open 5 to 9 p.m.