I was recently introduced to two new (to me) artists on a trip to Raleigh’s North Carolina Art Museum — which, by the way, has an amazing collection. Vik Muniz and Tom Hunter, two contemporary photographers, were both exhibiting large scale images that re-imagined Old Masters painting, each in their own way.
Vik Muniz’s Pictures of Junk Series are reproductions of these paintings in—you guessed it—junk, or sometimes garbage. Poke around his website and you’ll find some amazing examples; here, are Atalanta and Hippomenes, after Guiodo Reni, and Saturn devouring one of his Sons, after Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes. Incredible use of white space, and testament to the theory that art can be made out of anything when you’re creative.
Tom Hunter’s work more subtly references the paintings of such artists as Andrew Wyeth, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Vermeer. Without referencing the original work in the title, or exactly replicating the piece, Hunter will stage photographs that remind you of something you have seen once before but perhaps can’t quite place. See his website for more of his work— there is no specific series for the Masters, but interspersed throughout his Gallery you will know them by the sense of deja vu they provoke. ••••