Urban Steeling

Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff

Swenson Gallery

On-View:  May 5–June 24, 2018

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Urban Steeling celebrates Miami’s deeply urban, gritty side, the “anti-tropical paradise” look that is rarely brought under the spotlight.

Away from the pristine beaches, blue skies and swaying palm trees of Miami Beach, and the glass and steel skyscrapers that give Brickell its futuristic look, Urban Steeling pays homage to a side of Miami that is often ignored and yet is crucial to the identity of our multifaceted city.

Bakehouse artist Scott Brennan’s photography builds on the legacy of urban photography legends such as Eugene Atget, Brassai and Lee Friedlander, whose work focused on landscapes, urban and not, with an almost complete absence of human presence.

On the atrium wall, Brennan’s Dead Pay Phone series documents these urban “archeological” relics: for years a critical means of communication, they became obsolete soon after the advent of cheap mobile phones; now, too expensive to remove, they populate the streets of metropolises around the globe, a stern reminder of the pace of technology in our contemporary world. Inside the Swenson Gallery, images of parking garages, empty lots with the occasional street sign or lamp post, chain-link fences and abandoned cars enter in a fascinating dialogue with the steel and bronze sculptures of Ralph Provisero.

Provisero creates sculptures with industrial objects that seem precarious as they balance, suggesting extreme potential energy where large, heavy objects appear light and elegant. The works featured in the Swenson Gallery are reminiscent of weapons created in a dystopian world, made of iron and steel topped with bronze oversized bullets. One piece, titled Pay to Pray, featuring a church votive stand upon which bullets stand in place of candles, is set against the wall, paired with images from Brennan’s repertoire that portray or evoke religious icons and abandoned sites of worship. On the atrium wall, Provisero’s Zanzara (“mosquito” in Italian), an imposing I-beam and aluminum sculpture, appears to defy gravity as it hangs precariously on the wall like a giant mosquito, perhaps the result of a genetic-engineering experiment gone awry.

Both artists, through their preferred media, create allegories of contemporary urban culture, “stealing” or creating images that become, as Provisero writes, “elements frozen momentarily in time, referencing mood and memory.”

RCS 1-50 Exhibit

Curated by BABA Collective

Opening reception: Thursday, June 7, 2018, 7-10 PM

Closing reception: Friday, June 22, 2018, 6-8 PM



Miami, FL—Bakehouse Art Complex is pleased to announce the first of its summer exhibition series, RCS 1-50 Exhibit, curated by BABA Collective. This group show features participants of the Rocking Chair Sessions podcast with the sponsorship of the Awesome Foundation Miami.

Over the past year BABA Collective, comprised of Elysa D. Batista and Maria Theresa Barbist, have engaged in dialog within our art community inquiring artists and cultural producers about their personal narratives and creative processes. The conversations have been archived as online podcasts - RCS: Rocking Chair Sessions. Joining the global burgeoning club of audio interviews, Baba Collective is keeping it local and grassroots by interviewing peers only from South Florida inside the modest sized Studio #14 at the Bakehouse Art Complex.

The exhibition will present a tapestry of works by the first 50 artists and curators interviewed spanning from Ft. Lauderdale to Homestead and everything in between. Baba Collective aims to build bridges via South Florida’s oral history and creative practices that range from sculpture to video, painting, performance, photography, curating and bookmaking.

This show is a celebration of both the visual artwork and audio collected. There will be QR codes present throughout the exhibition for visitors to scan and access the corresponding volume to each artwork. Free headphones will be handed out to the first 50 guests to wear throughout the opening and listen in with their cellphones. Also, a Listening Station will be set up for you to sit, relax, and enjoy the podcasts.

RCS 1-50 Exhibit. Adler Guerrier Alex Nunez Alexander Zastera Ananda DeMello Andre Martinez Andrea Spiridonakos Augusto Esquivel Aurora Molina Barbara Bollini Roca Bernadette Despujols Bernice Steinbaum Bianca Pratorius Christin Paige Minnotte Claudio Marcotulli Claudio Roncoli Deming King Harriman Donna Ruff Eddie Arroyo Ernesto Kunde Gerbi Tsesarskaia Ingrid Schindall Jason Aponte Jean-Paul Mallozzi Jen Clay Jenna Efrein Jenny Larsson John DeFaro Kristin Thiele Laura Marsh Lauren Shapiro Lauren Swartzbaugh Lissette Schaeffler Lisu Vega Lujan Candria Michael Gellatly Michael Williams Michelle Lisa Poulissaint Monica McGivern Monique Lazard Nathalie Alfonso Onajide Shabaka Patricia Schnall-Gutierrez Pioneer Winter Salvador Zarate Sarah Henderson Sarah MK Moody Sean Mick Terence Price II Tina Salvesen Troy Simmons