LGBTQ South Florida

LGBT artists, exhibits featured during Miami Art Week in Miami Beach, Wynwood

Ben Cuevas’ Jockstrap Dec. 4 through 7 at Hôtel Gaythering
Ben Cuevas’ Jockstrap Dec. 4 through 7 at Hôtel Gaythering

A nude performance artist will knit himself a jock strap Thursday night at Hôtel Gaythering in South Beach, part of “Queer Biennial I,” one of several LGBT art exhibits in town for Miami Art Week.

Artist Ben Cuevas will be among 35 LGBT artists featuring more than 100 pieces of art through Sunday at Hôtel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Rd.

“As Miami Beach’s only gay hotel, we wanted to bring an exhibition to the property during Art Basel that holds a mirror up to the LGBT community,” said Alex Guerra, co-owner and creative director for the Hôtel Gaythering, in a news release. Guerra, an artist, will be among those exhibiting during Queer Biennial.

Also Thursday night: Freedom to be Different in Wynwood, featuring a screening of the film South Beach On Heels and a performances by Elaine Lancaster, Lady Bunny and DJ Tracy Young.

Here are news releases about several Miami Art Week events of interest to the LGBT community:

Queer Biennial I at Hôtel Gaythering

Definitely not your Grandma’s knit-one-purl-two, performance artist Ben Cuevas will knit himself a jock strap while nude as part of “Queer Biennial I,” an LGBT-focused art exhibition to be held during Art Basel Weekend at the Hôtel Gaythering. In addition to Cuevas knitting in the raw, “Queer Biennial I” will spotlight 35 artists and more than 100 pieces of art throughout the hotel property in what curator Rubén Esparza calls, “a national survey of the current moment in queer/LGBT culture from artists who do not shy away from sexuality, identity, the body or all around queerness.” “Queer Biennial I” is open to the public Thursday, December 4, to Sunday, December 7, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Hôtel Gaythering is located at 1409 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

Cuevas’ point to naked knitting? To comment on the absurdity of gendered notions of work. (http://bencuevas.com) Other artists exhibiting during “Queer Biennial I” include Gio Black Peter, a visual and performance artist whose works examine text and subject, truth and fakery, rebellion and authority. Black Peter’s art relies heavily on interaction with the viewer and his or her willingness to suspend rational thoughts and play into the believability of lies and falsehoods. (http://www.gioblackpeter.com)

Inspired equally by his landscape painting father and his singer/songwriter mother, Scooter LaForge (http://scooterlaforge.tumblr.com) honed his painting voice in the San Francisco and New York art scenes. Difficult to categorize or label, LaForge’s paintings are at once pop art with undertones of debauchery, and are definitely NSFW. Rick Castro’s films and photographs explore the world of fetish and the fringes of sexual culture. He describes his nudes as an antidote to his career in fashion as a wardrobe stylist and his films as an exploration of what may considered bizarre now, but will become the standard of the future. (http://www.rickcastro.com)

Neon sculpture artist Lili Lakich (http://www.lakich.com) views her artwork as drawings … lines that glow. Her illuminating works range from playful to sobering and run the gamut from female nudes to monumental sculptures. The shimmering, pulsing, luminous vibrancy of neon gives her sculptures a 21st century edge, despite the medium’s primal appeal. Multimedia artist, filmmaker and writer Slava Mogutin was exiled from his native Russia for his outspoken writings and LGBT activism. Fleeing to the U.S. in 1995, he became the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the U.S. on the grounds of homophobic persecution. Today, his visual art is inspired by that dissident background and encompasses themes of displacement and identity; transgression and disfiguration of masculinity and gender crossover; urban youth subcultures and adolescent sexuality; the clash of social norms and individual desires; and the tension between attachment and disaffection, hate and love.

Curator Esparza, who will be exhibiting some of his ad-themed visual pun artwork, came up with the idea of “Queer Biennial I” as a way to showcase emerging, mid-career and established Out / Queer / LGBT artists from the visual, performance and video art disciplines. In addition to being out and proud, these artists all have one thing in common: they are not afraid to venture into the realms of body, identity and eroticism.

“Every one of these artists is brave,” Esparza said. “They are uncompromising in their willingness to step outside the boundaries of polite society to create art that they are passionate about.”

“As Miami Beach’s only gay hotel, we wanted to bring an exhibition to the property during Art Basel that holds a mirror up to the LGBT community,” said Alex Guerra, co-owner and creative director for the Hôtel Gaythering, who will also be exhibiting during Queer Biennial. “After the exhibition’s debut showing in L.A. this summer, we knew ‘Queer Biennial I’ was a perfect fit and something we wanted the local and visiting LGBT community to experience.”

While queer-themed art is not for everyone, the prices of the art for sale to aficionados will be, Guerra says, as the artwork tops out at $2,000.

Other artists participating in “Queer Biennial I” include: Boston, Connie Fleming, JON VAZ GAR, Angela Gleason, Glen Hanson, Chasen Igleheart, Josef Jasso, Brian Kenny, Bruce LaBruce, Alex La Cruz, Jeremy Lucido, Ian MacKinnon, Dave Naz, Mel Odom, Miguel Angel Reyes, Robert W. Richards, Stuart Sandford, Tawnie Silva, Jacques Smith, AB Soto, SUPERM, Alonso Tapia, Joey Terrill, Maurice Vellekoop, Amy Von Harrington, Daniella Woolf, Rich Yap and Austin Young.

In addition to its run in conjunction with Art Basel, “Queer Biennial I” will be open at Hôtel Gaythering through January 14, 2015. For information, visit www.gaythering.com and click on the “events calendar” tab.

Freedom to be Different in Wynwood

After an amazing line up of Film Festivals, the multi-winning documentary “South Beach On Heels” directed by a local filmmaker Dmitry Zhitov wins its 7th consecutive Award at Key West Film Festival for Best LGBT Film and on the same night of November 16th the director of this documentary Dmitry Zhitov was honored with the Best Film Producer of South Florida Award by Film, Recording, & Entertainment Council in Miami.

South Beach On Heels can be enjoyed one more time in Miami during Art Basel at an Official LGBTQ event Freedom to be Different that brings Art and Music together.

The event kicks off @ 8:00 p.m. with an open bar and complimentary appetizers provided by the Palace Bar prior to a special screening of “South Beach on Heels.” Celebrity DJ Lady Bunny will spin starting at 10:30pm with DJ/Producer Tracy Young taking over at midnight. Drag sensation Elaine Lancaster will host the event and you will get to see the live performances from the Divas of South Beach On Heels.

Join us for a fun-filled evening of art, dancing, DJ’s, drag performances and local colorful celebrities.

FREEDOM

48 NW 25th Street

Wynwood, Miami

Web: Facebook.com/FREEDOM2BDIFFERENT

Mark Kosatbi at World Erotic Art Museum

Designer of album covers for Guns ‘N’ Roses and The Ramones , numerous products for Swatch, Alessie and Rosenthal, paintings in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and Brooklyn Museums and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the brilliance and versatility of artist Mark Kosatbi is being shown for the first time in South Florida when “ErotiKostabi,” 20 original oils on canvas created especially for this exhibit, at Naomi Wilzig’s World Erotic Art Museum.

Anticipating the upcoming excitement that is the world of Art Basel, the works of Los Angeles-born Kostabi are a perfect fit for the ingenuity of a multi-gifted artist who challenged the world. Coming into his own from drawing and painting studies at California State University to become a major mover in the late ‘80s West Village art scene, Kostabi’s provocative paintings were further enhanced by a persona which was to land him international press coverage when he founded Kostabi World, his Manhattan art studio, and not too long after, his move to Rome as a major presence in the Italian art scene.

A persona that was extravagantly broad in his artistic interests, Kostabi emerged as a TV producer, an advice columnist for artists, a sought-after designer of album covers and as collaborator with such other artists as Arman, Enzo Cucchi, and Tandori Yokoo. As a musician, Kostabi performed as soloist and in concert with such contemporary giants as Ornette Coleman. As composer, his compositions were performed by Maano Manni, Kristjan Jarvi, and the Estonian National Symphony.

The subject of numerous documentary films, most notably “Bottom Line: The Kostabi Phenomenon” directed by Peter Bach, Kostabi has a prominent role in the Emmy Award-winning documentary “The Art of Failure: Chuck Connely Not for Sale” directed by Jeff Stimmel. “Con Artist, a particularly candid look into a crappy life where he frequently went outside his circle to sell his paintings, also well known to followers is“Full Circle: The Kostabi Story” directed by Sabrina Digregorio for Atena Films which premiered at New York’s Anthology Films Archives and at Domus Talenti in Rome.

Profiled on “60 Minutes,” “Eye to Eye” with Connie Chung, “A Current Affair,” “Nightwatch” with Charlie Rose and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In print, among many others, Kostabi has been featured in The New York Times, People, Architectural Digest, Forbes, and New York Magazine.

With his work in over 50 permanent museum collections, Kostabi’s permanent public works include a mural in Palazzo dei Priori in Arezzo, Italy, a large bronze sculpture in the central square of San Benedetto del Tronto, Iraly, and a bronze portrait of Pope John Paul in Velletri, Italy.

The exhibit runs through April 30.

The World Erotic Art Museum is located at 1205 Washington Avenue. Open Monday-Thursday 11 A.M.-10 P.M., Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 A.M. to Midnight. Tickets are $15. No one under 18 admitted. Further information is available by calling 305-532-9336, or via www.weam,.com.

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