Miami’s Hidden Art Cave

I got to the Margulies warehouse and walked through the artworks in silence, taking everything in. A blown up, Willem de Kooning sculpture greeted you by the entrance. In a corner, hidden behind a staircase, stood perhaps the loudest of the works featured in the collection. However, this noise was not sonic, but visual. It transmitted nothing short of an underground club vibe, with light coming out through the slits of the staircase. The whole space was lit by neon pink light. Dazzled, I noticed that in addition to the neon lights, there were ceramic figures of donkeys on the shelves. I later found out that there were exactly sixty-nine. If sexual innuendos could be materialized into a three-dimensional figure, they would come to life in this sculpture.

Moreover, possibly the best experience I had and what I will remember the most of the collection was the outdoor installation by Olafur Eliasson, “Your now is my surroundings”, since it invited all of the class to participate and be a part of the work. A narrow space covered with mirrors, it generated an effect of endless reflections. By raising your hands, you could see thousands of replicas in the background. Everyone was involved in the work and, through it, we became a part of each other’s surroundings.

The Margulies collection at the WAREhOUSE is located at 591 NW 27th St, Miami, FL 33127.

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Le Parc Through the Looking Glass

Visiting Julio Le Parc’s Form into Action exhibition at the PAMM once was not enough, which is why I enjoyed viewing it again two more times. Le Parc hit close to home. An influential figure in kinetic art, some of the artworks reminded me of Jesus Soto’s works. When I was younger, every time I would go through the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas, I would see Soto’s “La Esfera” and my parents would tell my brother and me about the kinetic art movement. Soto also has “Penetrable BBL Blue 2/8” installed outside which, much like Le Parc’s art, invites viewers to step in and become a part of the work.

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That was, perhaps, what I liked the most of Le Parc’s art. It encourages, or even obliges, the viewer to participate and engage in the piece, thus becoming a part of the art. Although I visited the exhibition more than once, it was never the same experience or appreciation of the works. The works aren’t static; they change with time, their surrounding environment and the viewer. They are a challenge to the preconceptions of what art should be. Le Parc empowers the viewer and, in the process, breaks down the barriers between art and spectator.

The collection features over 100 works produced by Le Parc between 1958 and 2013, which vary in medium, shapes and sizes.

Le Parc: Form into Action is exhibited at the Perez Art Museum Miami in Miami, FL from Nov. 18 2016 until March 19, 2017.

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