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Muniz: keep drawing, y’all


I went to the family workshop Vik Muniz did at PAFA on Saturday. I’ll tell you more in a few posts. But I want to get up a few images and a shout out for the artist’s Morris Gallery exhibit which is great and which includes a work installed upstairs in the PAFA collection (the Charles Wilson Peale room)that Muniz is giving to the museum.


I asked PAFA curator Robert Cozzolino, who organized the show of West Collection-loaned works, if Muniz typically did family workshops. This struck me as somewhat odd for an artist of his stature and success. Imagine Jackson Pollock at a similar stage in his career doing a family workshop!


Cozzolino told me that yes, the Brazilian-born artist was into it. And that in fact he was starting an art school down in Rio that would be for poor kids. (More on that in another post)

The artist is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. It’s easy to be enthusiastic about your own art of course but the guy kept giving pep talks that resonated beyond his work and into the greater world.

“It’s important to be an artist, not when you’re young. Everyone’s an artist then. Right? You all draw (looking at the kids). It’s when everyone else STOPS being an artist that it’s important to be an artist. Grown ups don’t have time to draw. Teachers don’t have time to teach drawing.

You have to draw yourself. Drawing is very good exercise for the brain. You should do it all your life. Everybody should do drawing. And it’s very fun to do.”

I tell you I dragged myself in to that workshop and left with a spring in my step. The guy’s amazing. The art’s amazing. The energy’s enviable.

(bottom image is the Muniz work, which the artist is giving to PAFA. It’s from a series of works of famous Americans he did, I believe, for the Corcoran Museum, several years back. It’s a black ink piece he photographed wet to get a droplet-type effect. And it looks fantastic sitting in that blue-walled room opposite the original inspiration, which Muniz had never seen before except in reproduction, said Cozzolino.)