Back when the old masters were slinging paint, if they had a beef with their royal patrons, they had to keep their beaks closed or risk losing their heads. "Lowly serfs or artists like Brueghel, Bosch, and Goya couldn't complain about social ills to the king," says Barry Fellman, director of Wynwood's Center for Visual Communication. "Instead, they employed stealth and hid their criticism in the masterpieces we've come to know them for today."
During this weekend's post-Art Basel edition of the Second Saturday culture crawl, you can catch "Travelers in Time" at the CVC, featuring Lluis Barba's large-scale photos. Barba hijacks pop-culture imagery and consumer branding and fuses it with old-school masterworks to comment on hot-button social issues of today. The space also showcases Herbert Mehler's imposing steel sculptures that till the furrows between the organic and geometric while giving the impression they might take flight with the slightest breeze -- at 541 NW 27th St. in Miami. Call 305-571-1415, or visit visual.org.
If you somehow missed Cristina Lei Rodriguez's sculptures at the Miami Beach Convention Center or at the Nada fair during Basel, you can still catch her solo show "Change" at the Frederic Snitzer Gallery (2247 NW First Place, Miami) and discover why people are abuzz about her new work. Rodriguez has ventured beyond her Little Shop of Horrors aesthetic and the trappings of youth glam to create more abstract, minimalist pieces employing elements such as Swarovski crystals and black shrink wrap to convey a stripped-down notion of the landscape. Call 305-448-8976, or visit snitzer.com.
Sat., Dec. 10, 6 p.m., 2011
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