PB & J – pretension, bullshit and just plain crazy

Vik Muniz

Yes, that is the image of the Mona Lisa recreated both in peanut butter and in jam, photographed for the world to see.

The only rational that makes sense is that the artist Vik Muniz has recreated it in the food of the masses to show what this classic painting has become – a reproduction for the masses (the Da Vinci Code has a lot to answer for).

Perhaps if I had seen the actual PB&J creation, my critical brain would be able to give credit for being able to create her face so accurately. But just seeing a photograph of the work turns it into a novelty and an annoying Americanised one at that.

But compare that to Muniz’s work Paper Trails, which I adored. It did not rely on the subject matter to create impact, in fact the subject was the least important part. Human perception was the key player. From a distance the images just looked like nice photographs, albeit historically significant photographs. But close up you could see that each image had been created by simplifying the image into its component shades (three in most cases) and then building the image from cardboard.

What from far away looked like a normal photo, up closed showed a colour blocked imaged – your brain has done its part and created all the detail for you.

So I guess it goes to show, you can’t judge a circus on just one act.