More about Caravaggio's Medusa, 1590
The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has never been more true than with Vik Muniz.
Muniz has made a career for himself by copying all the greats before him, but before you write him off for plagiarizing, you need to know there is something a little different about how this Brazilian artist functions. Rather than busting out the old oil paints, Muniz uses everything from chocolate to garbage to produce his art historical recreations. His goal is to make visual magic out of the mundane, and dare I say, he is doing a damn good job of it.
This work is an ode to Caravaggio’s gruesome Medusa. A bit more jovial, Muniz’s rendition was created out of marinara, which he then photographed and digitally printed on plates. His mother obviously never taught him not to play with his food. We will give him a pass though, for the ooey gooey red sludge of the marinara seems to enhance the mess that comes with the business of decapitating a monster.
MoMA trustee Peter Norton likes to commission series of reproduction plates as holiday gifts for his family and friends. This creative gift was not a one-time thing though. Having made oodles of cash dabbling in the computer business, Norton now uses his philanthropic nature to produce the “Peter Norton Family Christmas Art Projects” for MoMA. Since 1988, Norton commissions editions from artists whose work resides in his personal collection and then gives out the work as holiday gifts to his friends. Luckily for plebeians such as myself who have yet to make it onto Norton’s good side, MoMA offers a limited number of these works for sale in their store. In fact, for $250, I too could own a copy of this work. Nonetheless, this still kind of makes me reevaluate the type of people I surround myself with, for while Norton’s friends are receiving badass and collectable pieces of art, all I get is squat from my friends. I clearly am not mingling with the right people.