The world’s “trash problem” is one I’m interested in finding a solution for, but Vik Muniz’s artwork doesn’t interest me at all. There’s nothing brilliant about recreating past works with garbage/food products.
If you have to explain to your viewers why your art is interesting you’ve already failed. No matter how positive or meaningful the message might be. In sports if you lose the game and explain that you lost because whatever, you still lost the game. Now, if you win the game in spite of whatever, well, then you might have the audience’s attention. The art needs to be good before it is even given the chance to be explained.
A sloppy recreation of Jacques-Louis David’s “Death of Marat” is just a poor reproduction of a well-crafted masterpiece that was both great art and meaningful to its contemporary audience. What percentage of today’s population is even familiar with this painting, let alone know who Jean-Paul Marat was?
Jeff Koons’ art is what made Mr. Muniz realize he “could be an artist too”. Good grief, Charlie Brown, a 5th-generation Dada-ist. Just what the world was begging for: another smart-ass with nothing to say other than, “this sucks”. Well, maybe Mr. Muniz has something interesting to say, but he isn’t very good at speaking. Is The New York Times writing about him because he is a philanthropist or because he is an artist?