Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Local Artist Meet and Greet: R. E. SANCHEZ

R. E. SANCHEZ is a Salvadoran expatriate who received his Bachelor of Art (BFA) from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and now resides in Miami. He's exhibited in cities such as Beijing, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Currently, he is the art director for Life is Art, a non-profit group dedicated to the promotion of Miami artists. His solo exhibit, Stabbing Hate, will be on display at the CS Gallery in North Miami Beach until May 24th.

How influential are other modes of art, such as film and music - on your own work? Has a poem, song, or film etc ever inspired you to create?

I think the most influential modes of art for me have been music, film and photography. I created an original sound piece from samples for an exhibition dealing with money a few years ago. Music is constantly playing in my studio. I wake up and go to sleep with music. I believe the world would be a very boring place if music didn’t exist. I can’t really specify if one song in particular has inspired me. I like to have my music collection play on random because to me it offers a good variety, just like life in general.

What was the last book you read?

No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman. It was the first biography of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors. I really appreciated the book because it gave light to the literary inspirations of Jim Morrison. He considered himself more of a poet than a rock star in many respects and in many ways felt disappointed that his poetry was never as popular as his music.

If you could have a drink with any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Jim Morrison: for his extreme decadence. I have been attracted to decadence in people for as long as I can remember. Michelangelo: for his extreme passion, craftsmanship and skill. Leonardo DaVinci: for his wide intellect and curiosity. Diego Rivera: for his ability to melt art and politics in such a pleasing manner.

Please choose your favorite: Picasso, Miro or Marcel Duchamp? Why?

Duchamp had a great sense of humor and an intense conviction to his art. He turned Western Art on its head with his early works.

Picasso was very good at reinventing himself and working in a multitude of mediums, but my favorite at present is a contemporary by the name of Tom Friedman. I saw his solo show while working in San Francisco at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and was blown away by his ability to melt body, mind and humor so well.

Do you believe that Miami is an 'artist friendly' city that promotes local talent? Please elaborate.

Miami has grown a lot since I moved here five years ago. I think more artists are moving here and discovering that it is still uncharted territory. Every time I walk around Wynwood, I see new galleries popping up from nowhere. My experience has been that it is very hard for young artists to find quality galleries to represent them. I find the art world to be a very political arena in which an artist’s work is not as important as who he/she knows or who finds his/her work appealing enough to collect it and influence his/her friends to collect it. In light of that, I recently teamed up with a very talented group of people to form a non-profit organization called Life Is Art. Our objective is to be able to bring more art to a bigger audience in Miami. We are planning our next events for this summer and are very excited to be able to make our mark in the promotion of up and coming artists in Miami and beyond.

Please choose your favorite: The Beatles, Rolling Stones or Run DMC.

Bob Dylan has managed to change his style in many ways throughout the years and continues to put out material that is fresh and poetically complex. I saw him perform live a few years ago and found it really hard to relate because he is very interested in always playing new versions of his songs. I had read that he does this during his performances but I never knew he was so drastic with his rearrangements. I recently purchased one of his bootleg albums and felt the same way the first time I listened to it. But, after a few more plays, I discovered that his talent is enormous and his passion for variety is never ending.

What were you doing at 8:45pm last night?

I assisted in the creation of my first marble cake with my lovely wife Marylene. She is an amazing cook and one of my biggest inspirations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ode to the Toy Piano

Dear Wendy Mae Chambers,

I have fallen in love with the toy piano!

I had the pleasure of attending the performance of your composition “Kun” at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens yesterday and it was surreal and whimsical. If Alice in Wonderland had a soundtrack, Kun would be it!

So, I just wanted to write a quick thank you note because your tiny pianos and dainty melodies allowed me to see through the eyes of a child; the world grew tall and full of wonder again.

You fan,
Larissa, aka Local Motion Miami

Friday, April 24, 2009

Taste the Avant Garde: Sunday

Oh heavenly Gods of the Avant-Garde, I thank you!

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens - which is a delightful and stunning homage to Italian Renaissance architecture - will feature 64 toy pianos playing continuously on Sunday, April 26th from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free with the price of paid admission [$10 for Miami Dade residents and $15 for non-residents].

The pianos will be performing a piece called Kun by the toy pianist and composer, Wendy Mae Chambers.

According to a press release from Vizcaya's Web site:

"Kun" musically represents the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching, the ancient Chinese book of divination that was also used by the avant-garde composer John Cage. "Kun" will feature 64 musicians performing on 32 white toy pianos and 32 black toy pianos placed in pairs throughout the gardens, representing the yin/yang formation. Each pair will perform a six-minute duet, for a total of 32 linked compositions. Each toy piano will represent one of the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching and, as such, have a unique 6 note scale.

Kun, the second hexagram of the I Ching, represents Mother Earth and is comprised of six broken lines. All of the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching are derived from the first two hexagrams. The first hexagram, Ch'ien, represents Heaven and is comprised of six unbroken lines.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Eye Candy - Camilla d'Errico

See more of d'Errico's wide eyed beauties here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Poem of the Day - by Mina Loy

There is no Life or Death,
Only Activity
And in the absolute
Is no declivity.
There is no Love or Lust
Only propensity
Who would possess
Is a nonentity.
There is no First or Last
Only equality
And who would rule
Joins the majority.
There is no Space or Time
Only intensity,
And tame things
Have no immensity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Mystery of Migrations

Two weeks ago I did the Wynwood Gallery Art Walk and was pleasantly surprised by a beautiful exhibit in the Pan American Gallery by the Cuban artist, Carlos Estevez. The collection of images - titled The Mystery of Migrations - was spiritual and lyrical. I felt like I was peeking into the mind of a modern alchemist who adapted to technology by incorporating bicycles and other modes of 'migration' in his quest for spiritual enlightenment. It's definitely an exhibit not to be missed! The show will be on display until May 23rd. Find out more information here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miami Weekend Planning Guide

There's a TON of fun and interesting stuff to do this weekend. Here are my top picks:


Sonny Rollins:

The living jazz legend will be playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center on Saturday, April 18th at 8pm. Tickets range from $25 to $125 dollars. Purchase tickets here.

Alfredo Triff:

The Miami-based troubadour will be performing at the Colony Theater also on Saturday, April 18th at 8:30pm.

If you've never seen Triff perform, I highly suggest you do! It's a wonderful sensory experience. Here is a description of him and his music taken from a press release issued by the group sponsoring his show:

Alfredo Triff takes traditional Cuban musical styles—boleros, son and more—and re-imagines them through a lush and sultry jazz-inflected post-modern lens. Classically trained by Russian masters, Havana-born Triff has performed with Sting, Jack Bruce, Eddie Palmieri and Arnaldo Antunes, among others.

Triff's outstanding trio includes Daniel Ponce on congas, who has worked and recorded with musicians such as Paquito d'Rivera, Laurie Anderson, Rolling Stones, Patti LaBelle and Herbie Hancock; and Alex Berti, former member principal double bass with the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra, who has worked with Yo Yo Ma, Placido Domingo and Arturo Sandoval.

This performance includes guest artists Adrian Castro, with his unique Afro-Latino spoken word poetry; Rosie Inguanzo, actress and poet, as "Es (Linda) Cinfuentes" and the velvet vocals of mesmerizing singer-songwriter Roberto Poveda.

Tickets cost $25 dollars for general admission. Purchase tickets here.

Ximena Sariñana with an opening set by local musician Rachel Goodrich:

The Mexican singer and actress will be doing another Saturday performance at 7pm at the North Beach Bandshell. She is performing as part of the Transatlantic Festival, which includes other performances from a talented group of musicians from around the world. Tickets cost $20 dollars in advance and can be purchased here. That link will also lead you to other performers participating in the festival.

If you're not familiar with her music, check out this description taken from the TransAtlanitc Festival Web site:

Rolling Stone recently proclaimed her [new] CD “one of the strongest debuts from a female singer-songwriter since Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me. In Ximena’s music, one hears echoes of Jones, as well as Mexican compatriot Julieta Venegas, and singers as diverse as Bjork and Fiona Apple.


Me Me Me Me Me: Self Portrait Group Show:

The comic book store Tate's in Ft.Lauderdale is having an art opening reception on Saturday, April 18th from 7pm to 10pm. It's free and includes the work of over 30 South Florida based artists. I had a chance to interview one of the artists involved in the show. You can read that interview here.

Find out more about the show here.


The silent Western returns to the big screen for free this Sunday, April 19th from 8pm to 10pm at the News Lounge located at 5580 NE 4th Court. The movie will be accompanied with live music, drink specials and complimentary popcorn.

Find out more here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Punches Just Keep On Coming

I’m letting go of art and kitsch for this post to get down to the nitty gritty reality that people across this country are losing jobs, out of business signs are popping up on every corner, real estate is a complete bust and the American car industry is almost non-existent.

So the question on everyone’s mind is: how did we get here? How did we arrive at this point?

I can answer that by quoting either Republican or Democratic ideologies or by spitting out economic theories by John Maynard Keynes or Adam Smith. But why repeat what’s already been said and written? Especially since, at the end of the day, I truly believe it comes down to one very simple thing: Greed.

Why did the automotive industry ask for bailout money in their jumbo jets? Greed. Why did people ask for loans they could never pay back? Greed. Why did the real estate industry build houses they could never expect to sell? Greed. Why has tax evasion exploded in the last couple of years? Greed.

It’s plain and simple and what astonishes me is that people continue to be greedy and are indulging in practices that hurt the overall economy and will hurt them in the future as well.

Take, for example, the company I work for. Today, a total of eleven people were laid off. This is the third round of layoffs in less than a year’s time span. The CEOs and other higher ups decided that, instead of taking a pay cut, they would just lay off a couple of people and increase the workload of those that remained.

My translation of that decision: forget quality and increase quantity. Produce: you are a money making machine.

I admit - for those that don't know me - that my political ideologies stem from extremely leftist views. But I don’t believe that a person can ever be too radical when it comes to consideration, selflessness and generosity. If each of us was willing to make some type of some small concession - maybe a pay cut or perhaps decreasing our working hours - then layoffs would either stop occurring or happen less frequently.

I think these harsh economic times should be used as a moment where we reveal the best we have to offer instead of the worst. How will history judge us? My answer: either as a generation so steeped in greed that we ruined ourselves or as a generation that took a long and hard look at our past decisions and used our mistakes as an opportunity to incite social and political change.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Perverts of Miami, Unite and Take Over!

Oh Miami Beach Cinematheque, how do I love thee! Let me count the ways...

Let me take this opportunity to say - joking aside - that the Miami Beach Cinematheque is a cinephile's wet dream come true. It's one of the few places in Miami where you can watch films made for a beautiful frame, a wayward glance, the careful but seemingly spontaneous encounter or chance. The films displayed are made for the art of film-making and story telling; elements too often forgotten or ignored in blockbuster Hollywood films.

The theater fits 30 people at the most and seats fill up quickly - thank God! The walls are lined with movie postcards, books and posters of the latest flicks. Each time I've walked into the place, Maya Deren short films play in the background. For those unfamiliar, I can best sum up her visual poetry by saying this: sensuality wrapped up in a surrealistic knife and kiss.

Every week, the Cinematheque features a dynamic and interesting line-up of films and documentaries. But this particular feature caught my eye and I think it will appeal to many [hell yeah I plan to be there!] Here is a description taken from the Cinematheque's Web site:

April 10 FRI at 8:30pm:

The Pervert's Guide To Cinema

Directed by Sophie Fiennes/UK/Austria/Netherlands/2008
Featuring ZIZEK!

The Pervert's Guide To Cinema takes the viewer on an exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made. Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic Slavoj Zizek, acclaimed philosopher and psychoanalyst. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves. Whether he is untangling the famously baffling films of David Lynch, or overturning everything you thought you knew about Hitchcock, Zizek illuminates the screen with his passion, intellect, and unfailing sense of humor.

WINNER: British Independent Film Awards Best Documentary

“Highly entertaining and often brilliant.” –Guardian (UK)

“Here's a film guaranteed to make you smarter than all your friends for 48 hours, or at least feel like you are.” –Minneapolis Star Tribune

* * * * * “ESSENTIAL VIEWING FOR CINEPHILES! But also for anyone else interested in the enduring power of cinema.”—Time Out

Buy tickets here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Love the 80s Volume 4

This song follows in the great tradition of Carpe Diem poems! Adam Ant wants to seize the moment and not allow one second to pass him by! Just listen to his 'elegant' words: Lets loosen up with a playful tease/Like all lovers did through the centuries/We're just following ancient history/If I strip for you will you strip for me? ;)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Top 5 Worst Pick-Up Lines I Have Received

5. This particular event happened six years ago at the Design District club Poplife. I was talking to a friend with a drink in hand when a young man approached me and asked my name. I admit: I thought he was attractive and welcomed the question. I reciprocated by asking his name - big mistake.

“I’m the devil,” he responded.
“I’m the devil.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Then I asked, “If you’re the devil, why didn’t you know my name?”

He didn’t have a clever response and continued insisting he was the devil. It was ridiculous. Plus, every time I tried to politely escape, he continued shooting off the mouth about this and that and about being the devil and blah blah blah. Needless to say, the cuteness factor wore off quickly.

4. Once, during my high school years, a friend and I were driving around Kendall and noticed a young man in the car next to us trying to catch our attention. He yelled, drove erratically and made goofy faces. After a couple of minutes of his shenanigans, we lost sight of him and assumed he drove off.

But that wasn’t the case.

We continued driving and hit a red light two or three minutes later. As we waited for the light to turn green, we noticed that same guy's car behind us. Well, guess what he did next? He got out of the car, walked over to us and began hitting on us both. Apparently, he thought it was a perfectly normal thing to do in the middle of 107th avenue.

I remember the event vividly because he was wearing a skin tight silver shirt. The color and material looked like something that would suit a stripper. Obviously, not a shy or insecure young man.

3. One day I was shopping in Dadeland Mall and entered a store that sold gag gifts and other random objects. As I was looking at a board game, one of the employees approached me and started tapping me on the shoulder.

“You look like someone who’s easily annoyed,” he told me and continued tapping me on the shoulder.

I didn’t respond and stared at him in disbelief. He wouldn’t stop tapping me and continued for another minute until I couldn't take it anymore.

"Can you please stop doing that!?"

He finally stopped and responded with, "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean anything by that."

He looked at me blankly for a moment, made a sad 'puppy dog' face and then tried to hug me. But I swiftly pushed him away and walked out of the store.

2. Two years ago a friend dragged me to a club in the Grove that played Salsa and Power 96 type of music, which is a form of torture for me. I made the best of it though and bought myself a drink and started dancing.

After a while, two guys approached us and one asked me to dance while the other started talking to my friend. I politely declined and told him I had a boyfriend. It was a lie but I was trying to be as nice as possible.

"Well, I have a girlfriend. That doesn't mean we can't dance," he replied.

I wasn't sure what to say next and proceeded to lie again - big mistake.

"My boyfriend is downstairs and will be coming up at any moment."
"My girlfriend is downstairs, too. Come on, let's just dance until they arrive."

The guy just wouldn't take a hint.

So, we stood facing each other for a few seconds saying nothing until he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him to initiate dancing. The move was fairly aggressive because it moved me six steps away from where I was at. At that point, I couldn't take it anymore and told him, "Look, I just don't want to dance with you."

"It's your loss," he responded. "It's your loss."

1. [A two for one special!] About a year ago I was at the club Circa 28 when a complete stranger kicked me in my calf muscle. I thought it was just some drunken idiot who lost his balance and was expecting an apology. But I didn't receive one.

"I can't believe that guy didn't even apologize for accidentally kicking me,"I complained to my friend.
"It wasn't accident," she said.
"That guy was checking you out from the moment you walked in here. I saw him come behind you. I thought it was to talk to you... I guess he thought it was a good way to get your attention."
"Damn, what next?"- famous last words. "Come on, let's go upstairs."

So we went upstairs and I started to dance while my friend decided to sit and chill. Less than a minute later, a different drunk guy accidentally bumped into me and almost made me fall over. He took that graceless maneuver as an opportunity to start hitting on me. His breath smelled like stale beer and cigarettes and he was covered in sweat.

That night, in the span of five minutes, I had been pushed and kicked by two different guys. It gave new meaning to being 'hit on'. Apparently, some desperate young men are turning to cavemen tactics.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Remembering Art Basel '08