What I’ve missed most during COVID is finally back in action; gallery shows!
Whether it’s attending exhibits during art walks or stumbling upon those you hadn’t previously known, seeing an artwork for the very first time is an intoxicating experience. Fortunately for me, I encountered Orlando Estrada’s poignant installation, The Infinite Vision in the Ethereal Rainbows Swarming Behind my Eyelids Reveals a Beacon, through sheer luck.
When something invites you to take a closer look, what’s your next move?
I was on a mission for lunch when I was met with this very question.
Distracted by Estrada’s installation from afar, I cupped my hands to the storefront window and was immediately intrigued by what was happening inside. A rotating centerpiece stood out from a two tiered panoramic sculpture, which initially caught my eye. It wasn’t long before my attention was stolen by a human skull spewing diamonds.
With the exhibit not yet open, I added it to the days’ agenda to return to later. After a great lunch nearby on Collins, I walked back to the space, excited to find out more about the hidden treasure I’d happened upon. First of all, the gallery I’d walked into was actually a former True Religion, part of an effort by the city of Miami Beach to bring more art into vacant storefronts that had closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
My first look at The Infinite Vision in the Ethereal Rainbows Swarming Behind my Eyelids Reveals a Beacon filled my minds’ eye with a kaleidoscopic level of wonder – the amount of detail and mediums used to create this work beg the viewer to dissect and absorb – a task for those with time to appreciate the courageous call to action. The message behind Orlando Estrada’s tiered panoramic sculpture is to showcase the natural beauty of Miami as it is slowly consumed by inevitable environmental devastation. The troubling forecast should provoke us all; statements like these are crucial reminders that we all have a part in maintaining the momentum needed to create the sustainable world we desperately need.
The Miami Beach Open House program is a city-supported initiative allowing artists full curatorial control over projects and exhibitions. By occupying the once busy shops on the streets of Miami Beach with not only art installations, but powerful calls to action, the city is providing a beneficial platform of support. The nonprofit partners making this possible are Bridge Initiative and Bas Fisher Invitational. Bridge Initiative primarily focuses on curating public art that brings attention to the impact of climate change in unique ways while BFI is an artist-run organization dedicated to creativity, experimentation and discourse within contemporary art.
Ultimately, it was not only my first step back into the transformative world of art, but an impactful lesson and perspective to be gained. Bas Fisher Invitational and Bridge Initiative are truly awe inspiring collectives of creatives driving force for change. These partnerships have penned a unique blueprint for cities to not only support artistic endeavors, but to become much needed advocates in the fight for social change.
It was not only a delight to view the installation up close and personal, but to have Lee Pivnik on hand to answer so many burning questions was everything I could have asked for! Before leaving I was gifted a copy of Weird Miami, a zine commissioned by Orlando Estrada featuring self-guided tours off the cities’ beaten path. Containing multi-colored zines on a binder ring, each zine is crafted by BFI artists’ own areas of interest while also serving as a way to treasure future Weird Miami exhibits or events. It’s safe to say that even though I was only a visitor, I still left feeling like a member of something special.
All in all it was unbelievably nice to walk in and experience someones’ world for an evening, as art allows us the perfect vessel to do so. The show is part of a residency through Waterproof Miami and is on view at 644 Collins Ave.