A variety show that's good for the summer soul

arts / Article

"Goldenage" gown from Sophie DeFrancesca.

The six gallery spaces spread over two floors in the 12,000-square-foot space that makes up the impressive Zadok Gallery in Wynwood can hold a lot of art. It does, and its good stuff. Zadok has displayed a wide variety of works from its roster, which includes well-known international artists as well as emerging ones. During this dead-of-summer month, it's well-worth exploring.

"United We Stand" dollar bill from Dan Tague.

One of the featured artists is Colombian Fabio Mesa, a relative newcomer who has a series of paintings, plexiglass sculptures and light boxes on both floors, which most remarkably address the nature of crowds – and the movement of such crowds, through cities and in the sense of migration, across borders. His works depict tiny figures in the foreground, which then blur and morph into a big painted blob (though strangely still somewhat recognizable as beings). The best of these are the painted plexi works, which allow light to go through and cast shadows in the walls, creating even more figures on the move.

"Love and Hate" from Dan Tague.

The sculptures of Sophie DeFrancesca also cast shadows, but they evoke different emotions. She takes wire mesh and twists them into shapes such as evening gowns to moose heads, then dunks them in liquid rubber and paints them one uniform colors. The results are very tactile and fluid – the folds of the dresses seem to be caught in mid-movement, the nose of the buffalo calls out to be touched.

Then there is he distinctive photography of Dan Tague. He takes the ultimate symbol of power and wealth, the American dollar, and folds it into sculptures that then reveal different texts: "Love and Hate;" "United We Stand," and so on. He then photographs them and turns them into large-scale C prints.

One wall is covered by a "cave painting" from Marshall Arisman, and like the ancient art itself, seems to reveal new spiritual, sociological and crafting clues the more time spent with it.

And on the second floor, make sure you check out the interactive machines from Hunter Jonakin set up against a back wall, clever stuff. In one, you can play a video game on an old-fashion arcade stand, where you can blow up Jeff Koons works. And he might have something to say about it. Enough said, you have to find out the rest.

Works from the gallery's collection are on display through July at Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami; www.zadokgallery.com.

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