Thursday, October 4, 2007
Brazilian artist Vik Muniz has some sweet paintings
Artist works with a very untraditional medium -- chocolate syrup.
Who is the chocolate artist?
In yesterday’s The Dallas Morning News’ story about the 100th anniversary edition of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, there was an item about His & Hers double portrait made from chocolate syrup.
The price tag is only a cool $110,000. Though it sounded pricy for something that with a quick lick could be wiped clean, it was the name of the artist that caught our attention.
The article spelled the name as Vik Munoz. That was a typo. The artist is Vik Muniz and he’s a Brazilian artist who excels in working with untraditional mediums – hence, the chocolate syrup.
It seems Muniz, who has an interesting backstory, got his start in advertising in Brazil and found his way to the United States paid for after he got shot on his way out of an advertising awards dinner where he took home one of the night’s prizes.
The story goes that two ad execs were fighting with brass knuckles. One pulled out a gun and happened to shoot Muniz. In exchange for not pressing charges, Muniz had him pay his way to the U.S.
The rest is, well, a lot of “reinterpreted” art. Throughout his career, this Sao Paulo-born artist has created such works of art as 2 replicas of the Mona Lisa, one in peanut butter and the other in jelly; Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Bosco Chocolate syrup and a picture of Elizabeth Taylor in diamonds. It’s said that he had to complete that work while under guard in a bank vault.
One of his most famous series is known as the “Sugar Children” series where he went to a Brazilian sugar plantation and recreated the pictures he had taken of the workers’ children with the sugar from the plantation.
Though he lives in New York City now and has exhibits around the world, Muniz’ heart is still back in Brazil.
We know this because Muniz is turning over his proceeds from the Neiman Marcus gig to a charity he created in Rio de Janeiro to expose underprivileged children to social and art projects.
Vik Muniz is an example of not just a talented artist but what can happen when kids are allowed to play with their food!