She’s in Control: Antonia Wright at Spinello Projects for Art Week

Control. Antonia Wright’s fast, brutal blast of a performance piece at Spinello Projects for Miami Art Week, took on multiple interpretations with that title. It’s a kind of miracle of meaning, a whole potentially tedious aesthetic and political essay in two syllables. The preparation took longer than the piece. On the Saturday I attended, the…

It’s Our Party – Celebrating Miami and the Knight Arts Challenge

Let’s call it an all-Miami house party. For locals, the celebration of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge winners that kicks off Miami Art Week is their best party. It’s the time when the city’s own artistic community gets to feel like the center of the glittering art/celebrity/marketing marathon that…

The French singer Edith Piaf owes much of her iconic status to having endured and triumphed despite her brutal upbringing – abandoned by her mother, raised in a brothel – and terrible losses throughout her short life. She transmuted her pain and strength into her music, creating a cathartic passage through heartache and beyond. The…

Invented Icons – Irene Williams, the Queen of Lincoln Road

(Eric Smith next to the Annie Leibovitz photo of his adored Irene Williams, the “Queen of Lincoln Road,” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Photo by Jordan Levin.) Irene Williams, the fierce, elderly fashion iconoclast being celebrated in the show Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU this summer, was…

They’re Hot: Beloved Miami ballet couple keeps dance fever alive

[Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg rehearsing “Transparente.” Courtesy Patricia Reagan Photography.]  Animated chatter in Spanish and English. Dancers and dances from Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia. Generations of former Miami City Ballet talent. Dancers whipping across the studio to the tortured vocals of Cuban diva La Lupe. A recent rehearsal of the fledgling Dimensions Dance Theatre…

Changing the World, One Film at a Time – the Good Fight at Good Pitch Miami

The stars/heros were a teenage refugee from Honduras, a Mayan activist from Guatemala, a park ranger from Bolivia, a mentor to struggling teenagers in Los Angeles. The power brokers were foundation leaders and media executives. The supplicants were storytellers, filmmakers and activists. At stake was a chance to change the world. They all came together…

Mozart from Havana in Miami

Listen while you can, Miami. The most in-demand classical music ticket tonight is to the sold-out concert by Simone Dinnerstein, one of the finest classical pianists in the world, with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra at the New World Symphony’s New World Center. The concert is part of a short U.S. tour supporting Mozart in Havana,…

Telling her story: Jamilah Sabur defines herself

If you were puzzled, as I was, by artist Jamilah Sabur’s haunting, opaque show at Dimensions Variable at Miami Dade College, this Thursday night is your chance to hear her explain. Miami-based Sabur’s exhibit If Defined, Then Undefine, is packed with personal memories and meaning related to her Jamaican roots. Among them are her mother’s…

The singular, spectacular Joey Arias

Long before drag was mainstream and creating a gender-blurring self was an activist act, Joey Arias was doing both. The singular diva, singer and artist-entertainer, who performs Friday as part of Fundarte’s Out in the Tropics festival, is a legendary founding figure of New York’s art/music/nightlife underground. A word he scoffs at, one of the…

New horizons: PAMM Opens Sweeping Contemporary Cuban Art Exhibit

(Above: Yoan Capote. Island (see-escape), 2010. Oil, nails, and fishhooks on jute mounted on plywood. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami.) When the man who put the Pérez in Pérez Art Museum Miami opens a Cuban art exhibit  in the U.S. capital of Cuba-obsessives, it’s guaranteed to be a major event. And the launch of On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from…

Natasha Tsakos Invents the Future

Creative moldbreaker Natasha Tsakos is a singularly original Miami artist who’s been  showcased in the kind of forums where you rarely find artists: TED, Google, IBM, the United Nations. She’s made her name, and her work, uniting her two loves, technology and performance; equally enthusiastic about the profound human power of traditional theater and the…

Toba Khedoori – The World in a Drawing

Toba Khedoori, the artist now on exhibit at PAMM, sounds as if she has a fascinating backstory. She is from a Jewish Iraqi family, born and raised in Australia, and is an identical twin. PAMM director Franklin Sirmans, who curated a slightly smaller version of this show for LACMA, where he was formerly head of…