07 January 2006

Sugar Art



Vic Muniz is an artist that I hadn’t heard of until recently, but I am very glad I did hear of him. That’s why I’m passing on some information about him. His art is in the category that I’ll define as “really neat”. His work explores different mediums and plays on issues of positive and negative space. Here’s a great example.

You are looking at an image of a youngster Muniz and his wife met on vacation in St. Kitts. He took pictures of the kids he met there, children whose parents worked on sugar plantations. This girls was among them. Back in New York, Muniz started thinking about the kids and the sugar plantation that was their most likely future. As a tribute to the kids, the back-breaking work their parents had to do to survive, and I suppose, as an acknowledgement of the future that these kids could expect, Muniz made portraits of them. It seems to me that any and each of these reasons are correct readings of these images.

To make the image Muniz put white sugar on black paper and pushed the grains around until the faces of the children he met on vacation emerged. I think the process is inventive. Displaying it was a problem though. Gravity and all that. So, he photographed his sugar-on-paper arrangements. I like that photography allowed him to make these fragile compositions permanent and presentable.

5 comments:

suz said...

when i first looked at the picture i thought it was an old photograph, but now i can see all the sugar piles and everything. neat indeed

Kate said...

Amazing and beautiful.

katperkins said...

This piece reminds me of something a little more colorful. I can't remember the artist's name, but he did watercolor paintings of the native in Jamaica I think.

Jason Heilpern said...

I agree with Suz. I first thought I was looking at a real photo. It was only after I read your description of the picture did I reilize what I was looking at.

Josh said...

i wonder if he could spray the whole thing with some kind of adhesive? i mean, photograph it first in case you screw it up.