Verso: Inscribed in red pencil "top," typescript , upper area; below, handwritten in red pencil George Lewis (Ludwig?) Muell[er]/14 Eckert Avenu[e]/ Newark, 8, N.J.; below, inscribed in black ball-point pen: Mueller #202. The inscription is cut off at r. edge.
A colored print of a white hand holding onto a brown hand. Above their grasp is both Hebrew block and English lettering that translates/reads: "'Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By...". The painting illustrates the need for diversity during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.
Porcelain plate imprinted with the photographic image of a female head in pasta and marinara sauce.
Muniz appropriates the head of Medusa from Caravaggio’s painting of the snake-haired Gorgon from Greek mythology, "Medusa" painted in ca. 1597. This piece is typical of Muniz’s work in which he recreates a well-known image from art history, “draws” it in an untraditional medium, such as sugar, thread, chocolate syrup, or as in this work, pasta and marinara sauce, and photographs it. However, unlike many of his other works in which the photograph is the end product, in this piece, he went one step further and transposed the photographic image on to a plate.
It is a bronze incense burner with a long handle. The circular bowl is a brazier, in which incense is burnt in Shinto rituals. The brazier has a fluted mouth and double-lines on the outside body. A circular foot, in a chrysanthemum shape, is attached to the brazier. There is a support that connects between the brazier and the foot. The brazier’s lid has an intricate openwork design of lotus flower scrolls with a knob in the shape of a lotus bud. The rim has an incised, stylized design of clouds. The mounting between the brazier and the handle is in the shape of Buddhist jewel with two semi-precious stones. The handle has carved lotus flower scrolls, and the end of which is bent at a right angle and joined to a round pedestal. Rising from the pedestal is a small statue of a lion on a lotus-shape pedestal, which serves as a knob handgrip when the incense burner is held.
In Japanese Buddhist rituals, a long-handled censer, egôro, signifies the celebrant’s authority. In processions the chief priest leads the other monks, holding an egôro. During the ritual, he frequently picks up the egoro and places it in front of the image of deity to offer incense to the deity. Fumigation is believed to clear evil sprit.
This beautiful, gilded egôro was used in rituals of Japan’s indigenous Shintô religion. Since the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in 7th century, Shinto adopted many aspects of Buddhist practices and representations. The UMMA egôro has familiar Buddhist motifs, such as a lion on the knob handgrip, lotus flowers on the brazier lid and the handle, and a stylized jewel shape on the mounting between the brazier and the handle.