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.
Groups of figures sit crowded around tables in a dark, smoky interior. In the foreground a man dressed in white hose and a red cap leans on a barrel, his tankard placed at his feet, and looks directly ahead out of the scene. To his left several men cluster around a table to drink and smoke, while other dimly lit figures sit and move about in the background.
A group of peasants, consisting mostly of men, are gathered in a dark interior to smoke, drink, and converse.
Jar with grey-green celadon glaze; top half of vessel is filled with an assortment of figures, birds, and architectural elements in a tiered arrangement.
This "hunping," or funerary urn, with celadon glaze covering the body possesses an assortment of figures and architecture in a tiered arrangement. The hunping reflects the southern tradition of "burial of the summoned soul." Placed in a tomb together with armrests, banqueting tables, food, and drink, it was hoped that the soul of the deceased would return to reside in the urn, entering, in this particular case, through the gate that appears to lead directly into the vessel. The auspicious birds and figures represent mystical entities that could guide the soul to be reborn in paradise.
This is a spherical shaped glass inkwell with sterling silver overlay in intricate designs of flowers and plants. The top half of the sphere, which opens horizontally, is the lid.
As with most objects of daily use, inkwells could be modest and utilitarian or more fanciful, the latter employing lavish use of precious materials to reflect and enhance the status of the possessor. Inkwells in the UMMA collections demonstrate a rich variety of materials, including silver, crystal, ceramic, and metal. Some pre-date the emergence of the fountain pen, and many mark the transition from a quill or nib pen to the convenience of the pocket pen commonly found today. Inkwells are avidly collected by those who value the artistry that went into the creation of a beautiful object for everyday life.
This cup is fashioned from a coconut shell set in a shallow bowl supported on a long, narrow stem and held in place by three straps and a tall neck band. The shallow domed lid has a plain, overhanging rim and terminates in a finial with a statuette of a nude sea nymph and serpent. The metalwork is densely decorated with various masks, animals, fantastic creatures, and vegetal ornament.
This richly decorated cup combines precious metalwork with the shell of an exotic fruit, a coconut, to create a marvelous artwork that would have manifested the status of its owner. The embossed and engraved decoration of the metalwork teems with vegetal motifs, fish, deer, a horse, and fantastic creatures suggestive of the bounty of nature.
Deep, thick-walled gray teabowl with intentionally unever lip and body texture that brings out a range of gray tones in the glaze.
This unusually deep bowl in a warm gray glaze is said to be by Sen Sôshu X, the tenth-generation head of the Mushanokôji School of Tea. In evaluating a teabowl from a tea master, one looks not for slick professional skill, but for traces of the maker’s character. The generous, rounded shape of this teabowl seems to reflect an open, magnanimous personality.
Gray silk damask woven in an arare pattern, with partial hon hitta shibori designs and shifuku (tea caddy pouch) design embroidered with silk and metallic thread
This kimono required a labor intensive technique called shibori, in which hundreds of hours would have been spent tying up each small section where white can be seen on the fabric before immersing it in dye. Shibori textiles are very expensive due to the time and skill required to produce them.
It is a round, stoneware plate. Clay is red covered with mottled grayish glaze and painted with underglaze iron and white slip. Imperfection of clay was resulted in occasional bumps on surface. Six spur marks are visible on the bottom. Slab is roughly cut (deliberately); the plate is in slightly convex shape. Artist’s seal with underglaze iron appears on the bottom.
The plum tree has white blossoms. The plate is intended for serving sweets or food in tea ceremony.