Vik Muniz (American, born, Brazil 1961)
The Raft of the Medusa, from the series Pictures
of Chocolate, 1999, silver dye bleach print
(lifochrome), two parts.
Gift of the New Art Collectors 2000.14.3 a,b
Art ©Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
As an artist Vik Muniz is a trickster and a tease. He
knows our eyes are hungry and like to fill in the gaps,
discovering figures in clouds and images in wood grain.
Like a skilled illusionist he exploits our all too trusting
eyes. He takes the everyday and renders it glamorous,
at the same time he makes important images as ordinary
as breakfast. The Raft of the Medusa, part
of his Pictures of Chocolate series is based
on Theodore Géricault’s iconic French Romantic
painting of the same name. Using Bosco chocolate syrup
he copied the dramatic painting onto a light-box and
then photographed it. The result is a collision of gravitas
and kitsch, the heroic imagery has been infused with
the silliness of a children’s drink mix. Muniz
has created an image that is both sensuous and unsettling,
and playfully asks the viewer to reconsider how they
attribute meaning to images.