Spinello Projects is pleased to present the grand opening of State of the Book, an interactive installation from multidisciplinary artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Wright and Millares transform the gallery entrance into the façade of a bookstore storefront. Behind the glass doors is an interactive reading room where visitors may sit, read and physically engage with books borrowed from the Miami-Dade Public Library System, private collections and the artists’ own bookshelves. The Florida heat in the summer becomes a New England winter – an invitation to retreat indoors to think.
The work considers the devaluation of the printed book in a society plagued by rising budget cuts to the arts and education, successive shutdowns of mom-and-pop bookstores and public libraries, and the rise of the e-book. It is the artists’ hope that the room will generate a dialogue around the changing role of books in contemporary culture, but also furthering a love of reading centered around and within the act of community-building. In addition to regular gallery hours, ongoing programming will activate the space for the duration of the exhibition. Wright and Millares will conclude the exhibition run with a live performance.
The sad, strange, beautiful vulnerability and (sometimes) painful faces of the human condition are all considerations in the oeuvre of Miami-based artists Antonia Wright and longtime collaborator Ruben Millares. Investigating the various politics and comic facets of natural behaviors both unique and routine, Wright and Millares examines these elements through a multifarious, process-oriented practice combining video, performance, photography, poetry, sound and sculpture. Wright and Millares acknowledges the layers of societal taboos and barriers between their artistic choices, and pointedly pushes them into the visual arts realm for the viewer to regard, question and/or enjoy.
Antonia Wright was born in Miami, Florida in 1979. She graduated from the New School University in New York City with an MFA in Poetry as well as at the International Center of Photography. Recent exhibitions include Trading Places 2 at The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Perfect Lovers (a Frieze New York special project) at the White Box Gallery in New York and Areoplastics in Brussels, Belgium. Other venues in South Florida include Primary Projects, David Castillo Gallery, Dorsch Gallery, The Tampa Museum of Art, The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, The Frost Museum at Florida International University and The Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation (CIFO). In April 2012, she became the first artist-in-residence at the Lotus House Shelter for women and children in Overtown, Miami. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Martin Z. Margulies at The Warehouse (Miami), The Hadley Martin Fisher Collection (Tampa), and Marty & Cricket Taplin Collection at the Sagamore Hotel (Miami Beach). Wright and her work have been featured in publications including Art In America, New York Magazine, The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, The Art Newspaper, The Sun-Sentinel, ArtSlant and Miami Art Guide. Wright lives and works in Miami.
Ruben Millares was born in Miami, Florida in 1980. As a visual artist he explores an array of mediums including Sumi Ink drawing, sculpture, installation, performance and video in an attempt to define balance as a concept in everyday life. Ruben’s work has been included in two shows at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, the Wynwood Art Fair and Art Live Fair. His recent exhibits include shows at The Tampa Museum of Art, Spinello Projects, Philadelphia City Hall, Dorsch Gallery, David Castillo Gallery, Fountain Art Fair New York, The Invisible Dog Art Space in Brooklyn, Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, Crane Art Space Philadelphia and a solo show at WDNA Gallery. Ruben’s work is included as part of the Hadley Martin Fisher Collection and the Martin Z. Margulies Collection, which is featuring a video/installation work of his with collaborator Antonia Wright in the 2011-2012 exhibition at the Warehouse. Millares has been featured in articles in the Miami Herald, Miami New Times, St. Petersburg Times and El Nuevo Herald among others. Recently he was an invited blogger on the Venice Biennale for the Miami New Times.