Tip of the Hat

South Beach's Art Center shows evolution through exhibition

There's no doubt about it, Art Center/South Florida has a killer location. It offers shoppers, diners and Euro-trash a welcome break from the sometimes glam, touristy shops and restaurants of Lincoln Road. This non-profit offers artists a space to allow the world to check out their work and their process. Studios in the Art Center appeal to a particular mix of voyeur and exhibitionist. Artists are on display for passersby and the passersby are an audience (and sometimes spectacle) for the artists. Newly juried artists in residence have an exhibition currently showing, called “Splinter/Fuse,” where each demonstrates some sort of change, whether the process, the cause or the art of evolution.

Evolution isn’t just the development of monkey-men into business men. Societies evolve, people grow and even fashions change. “Old Hat,” a work on display by Robert Wilson, takes note of the way an accoutrement, in this case, the top hat, once symbolized a man’s status as elite and now remains merely a mockery of its former meaning.

The archival photograph has been fragmented into 25 squares, layered in parts at different depths. It appears, at first, to be merely a dapper dandy’s chapeau, but just as the photograph fragments are layered, the meaning is as well. The image not only represents a nostalgic emblem of another age, it also reminds one of the changing face and attire of masculinity. What does it mean to be a man these days? Maybe it's the hipster beard that makes one particularly manly, or then again it could be the pedicure that bearded man was sercure enough to secretly enjoy.

The exhibition, curated by Jacquenette Arnette, is free and open to the public from 11-11 Friday through Sunday and from 11-10 Monday through Thursday. Be sure to check out the other amazing artists’ work on display. J. Kevin Foltz, Jules Lusson, Hugo Moro, Tere Pastoriza and Franklin Sinanan are also participating in the show. This is your chance to learn more about your talented neighbors on South Beach!

Read more of Liz Tracy's Miami missives on her blog, Miami, bro.

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