By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 14, 2005
While most artists usually choose to stick to a specific medium when creating a work of art, Vik Muniz can do it all ... and then eat it afterward.
Known for his creativity and diversity in non-traditional art forms, this Brazilian-born Renaissance man has conquered everything from photography and painting to the work of a master chef.
Muniz brings his creativity and sly sense of humor to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday, along with the internationally-known and Tucson-based rock group Calexico.
Painting reproductions of famous works in odd and almost seemingly random mediums such as soil, cotton, wire and chocolate syrup, Muniz manages to give an adage to classical and traditional art, while adding a new and original element to the world of painting.
His methods may vary, but his theme is precise. Muniz works with the nature of photography and representation. He manipulates objects so they form something else in the eye of the viewer and then takes pictures of them.
In the beginning of his career, he started out with only a single piece of clay and repeatedly shaped it into flowers, potatoes, musical instruments and other simple objects.
Now, as he gains notoriety and prestige, he has branched out to more intricate ... and eccentric images: a giant head of Woodrow Wilson made up of hundreds of people, 17,500 yards of thread fashioned into a dainty garden landscape, or a self-portrait the size of a football field made up of ladders, fans, umbrellas and bicycle wheels (among other things).
The event will begin with a screening of "Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz," a biographical film about his life and work. The film was created in Tucson during an exhibition with the help of several UA students.
There will be an informal question-and-answer session with the artist himself, a break for dinner and drinks, and then a performance by Calexico. All the money will go to benefit the MOCA exhibition fund.
"It's a really nice opportunity for people in Tucson to meet and hear about the work of a really internationally significant artist," said Anne-Marie Russell, the executive director and chief curator of MOCA.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $45 for members and $60 for non-members. Muniz will also accompany his wife Janaina Tschape at MOCA tonight when she will give a lecture on her life and works. This event will be $5 for non-members.