Chocolate Disaster (in 7 parts)

Vik Muniz

26 March 1999

7 C-prints 45,7 x 61 cm. Ed. de 3 + 3 P.A. Courtesy: Fundación Telefónica

Andy Warhol used the image of the car in many of his works, the most influential probably being those he created from photographs of car crashes and titled simply that, Car Crash. These works were instrumental in consolidating the image of the car crash as a substitute for violence and trauma in modern society: an effective contrast between the automobile, a symbol of pleasure and freedom, and the car crash which is associated with death, pain and collapse. Since then, the image of a crashed or squashed car has been used by many artists, whether as an explicit quote or as thematic referent charged with symbolism. Vik Muniz makes one of those explicit citations in his work Chocolate Disaster, referencing Warhol’s Disaster Paintings both in the title and the theme.

Vik Muniz creates his works from images usually culled from art history and the mass media. He re-appropriates images that have already settled in our visual memory. And it is precisely through this process of re-appropriation that we can more clearly recognise the symbolic trace in the image of a crashed car. Here Vik Muniz takes this trace and visual impact and subjects it to an interconnected reflection on the ephemeral and imaginary: the ephemeral and imaginary nature both of his own painting and material culture.