Farside Gallery and Art@Work
Expect to be floored, and ceiling-ed, when visiting the Farside Gallery and the accompanying art space in the lobby of Mosquera Orthodontics. But don’t expect to be overwhelmed with color and dramatics. The two architecturally based interventions are subtle and simple in their presentations, but not uncomplicated.
In the Farside space, which is a casita, with living room, kitchen, backroom and bathroom, Spanish-born artist Ferrán Martín created “A la altura de mi padre,” an installation he did before in Madrid and New York. Walk into the house and you shrink, or, really, the place does. Ferrán lowered the ceilings, including the air-conditioning vents and other ceiling fixtures – the doors and the cupboards are truncated.
The title is translated as “At My Father’s Level,” which is the inspiration for this quirky exhibit. The artist’s father was both a famed artisan in his home city of Valencia and a short man. Standing 5’4″, he is what in Spanish is called a “paquito,” or in Spain “an average Joe “-as the artists points out, not coincidentally also the height of the infamous Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. The piece also references Le Corbusier’s “Modulor” prototype home, based around architectural “norms” of the time, where the ceiling heights were set at 82 inches, almost 20 inches taller than Ferrán’s father. In this case, in this home, if you are more than 5’5″, you will be stooping. It’s an unnerving experience.
On the opening night, Ferrán did throw in something far more theatrical: the burning of a falla. Fallas are wood and paper mache sculptures, huge images resembling floats, that are specifically made to be set on fire on March 19, the day of San Jose the Carpenter. It’s a world-famous and unique Valencia tradition. And Ferrán’s father was, indeed, a falla-maker. Ferrán’s version exploded into soaring flames and burned to the ground in the backyard. The artist is currently New York-based, where he has shown at numerous prominent galleries and museums.
In the office lobby (and it is a working office), local sculptor Tom Scicluna covered two walls with geometric drawings that mimic the basic tile floors and the contours of the space. Unlike some previous artworks that have been presented in this space, it’s easy to imagine that the average person on a visit to the dentist might think this is basically wallpaper. However, when studying the work and seeing the light from the windows flood through the paper, which highlights the leaves of the trees outside, this installation becomes ever more entrancing.
The British-born Scicluna is known for his site-specific sculptures, which involve the dimensions of the surrounding space and our perceptions of them, as much as anything. They can also be just handsome to look at.
The works of Ferrán Martin and Tom Scicluna through April, at the Farside Gallery and Art@Work galleries, weekdays by appointment.
Farside Gallery and Art@Work
1245 SW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33174