Arts Desk

Reviewed: Jimmy Miracle at Flashpoint Gallery

Jimmy Miracle, a Florida-born, Washington-based conceptual artist, is nothing if not meticulous, as witnessed by his two projects currently on display at Flashpoint Gallery.

“The Rockaways” stems from a four-month effort in which Miracle rode his bike 13 miles from Bushwick in Brooklyn to Fort Tilden in Queens six days a week, gathering garbage and natural detritus that he then crafted into elaborate installations on the beach. The photographic documentations of the installations are workmanlike; fortunately, that doesn’t take away from the installations themselves. Often, the artist takes humble objects like discarded plastic eating utensils, sorts them by color and sticks them upright in the sand, turning them into a rainbow of refuse; other times, he takes clam shells and arranges them in raised, concentric circles that suggest miniature burial mounds (an appropriate theme, given the number of dead birds that populate Miracle’s scenarios, including one perched on top of a stake hung with clothes—a literal scarecrow).

Dramatically different in look, but with some thematic similarities, is Miracle’s other series, in which he takes cast-off wood and metal objects and threads them with a forest of monofilaments. Most of these works begin with small recycled objects—a colander, a candle holder—but shimmer with the addition of rows and rows of carefully placed filaments. But Miracle's piece de resistance is a seven-foot-tall oak armoire, strung with so many gold, white and translucent filaments that nothing can fit inside; meanwhile, the inclusion of diagonal filaments suggest a shaft of sunlight, only heightening the work’s ethereal beauty.

Through March 9 at Flashpoint Gallery, 916 G St NW. (202) 315-1305.


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