Not currently on display at the V&A

Action Photo I (After Hans Namuth)

Photograph
1997 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Vik Muniz takes well known images that have become familiar through repeated reproductions and recreates them from memory, using household materials like sugar, chocolate, and thread. He then makes a photographic record of them using a dye destruction method of printing his photographs.

Muniz creates a witty and uncanny effect by translating these well-known images into strange visual puzzles. We can either suspend disbelief by imagining the 'original' photograph which inspired his invention, or think of his work as virtuoso drawings which last only seconds for the camera before melting or disintegrating. This is one of several of Hans Namuth's portraits that Muniz has recreated using chocolate syrup. The original photographs were published in Life magazine.

Dye destruction prints are made using print material which has at least three emulsion layers, each one sensitised to a different primary colour--red, blue or green--and each one containing a dye related to that colour. During exposure to the negative, each layer records different information about the colour make-up of the image. During printing, the dyes are destroyed or preserved to form a full colour image in which the three emulsion layers are perceived as one. Dye destruction prints are characterised by vibrant colour. The process used to be called Cibachrome; it is now known as Ilfochrome.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitlePictures of Chocolate (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Dye destruction print
Brief Description
Muniz, Vik, Action Photo I (After Hans Namuth), 1997, Cibachrome print
Physical Description
This large scale portrait of Jackson Pollock at work in his studio has been made in chocolate and then captured on photographic film. The chocolate has been shaped to resemble an original photograph taken by Hans Namuth.
Dimensions
  • Height: 152.4cm
  • Width: 121cm
Copy Number
From edition of three
Gallery Label
  • Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2018) Marta Weiss Muniz recreates well-known images with materials such as chocolate, sugar and thread. He then makes a photographic record of these ‘drawings’. Here, he reproduces a famous photograph of the painter Jackson Pollock at work. The sticky chocolate sauce echoes the characteristic drips of paint in Pollock’s work.
  • Vik Muniz (Brazilian, born 1961) Action Picture (from Pictures of Chocolate) 1997 Dye destruction print Bought 1998 E.493-1998 "Why do people like magic? The lower the technical approach of the magician, the better the trick appears to be. People like to be fooled, but they also like to have the impression that they're not being fooled ... If one makes a drawing that works on a photographic level, like photorealism, you tend to believe that thing as actually existing at one point, much as you believe a photograph ...There's something magical about the fact that I can take this pencil here, I can make ten little marks with it, and you can see a house. This is alchemy." From an interview with Vincent Katz, in On Paper: The Journal of Prints, Drawings, and Photography, Spring 1997, p.29
  • Vik Muniz takes well known images that have become familiar through repeated reproductions and recreates them from memory, using household materials such as sugar, chocolate, and thread. He then makes a photographic record of these 'drawings'. Here, we see an image of painter Jackson Pollock recreated in chocolate syrup, the sticky sauce echoing the characteristic drips of paint in Pollock's work.(2008-2009)
  • Label for 'Making It Up: Photographic Fictions' (3 May 2013 - 12 January 2014): Vik Muniz (born 1961) Action Photo I (After Hans Namuth) 1997 Muniz recreates well-known images with materials such as sugar, chocolate, and thread. He then makes a photographic record of these ‘drawings’. Here, he reproduces a famous photograph of the painter Jackson Pollock at work. The sticky chocolate sauce echoes the characteristic drips of paint in Pollock’s work. Dye destruction print Museum no. E.493-1998
Credit line
Copyright Vik Muniz
Subjects depicted
Association
Summary
Vik Muniz takes well known images that have become familiar through repeated reproductions and recreates them from memory, using household materials like sugar, chocolate, and thread. He then makes a photographic record of them using a dye destruction method of printing his photographs.



Muniz creates a witty and uncanny effect by translating these well-known images into strange visual puzzles. We can either suspend disbelief by imagining the 'original' photograph which inspired his invention, or think of his work as virtuoso drawings which last only seconds for the camera before melting or disintegrating. This is one of several of Hans Namuth's portraits that Muniz has recreated using chocolate syrup. The original photographs were published in Life magazine.



Dye destruction prints are made using print material which has at least three emulsion layers, each one sensitised to a different primary colour--red, blue or green--and each one containing a dye related to that colour. During exposure to the negative, each layer records different information about the colour make-up of the image. During printing, the dyes are destroyed or preserved to form a full colour image in which the three emulsion layers are perceived as one. Dye destruction prints are characterised by vibrant colour. The process used to be called Cibachrome; it is now known as Ilfochrome.
Collection
Accession Number
E.493-1998

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record createdJuly 25, 2003
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