Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vik Muniz: You Rock!

Two years ago walking around the newly re-opened Museum of Modern Art I noticed an awesome photograph that appeared to be constructed out of crude oil. It was a scene of hundreds of people standing in attention during a concert. The artist, I later recalled was named Muniz.

Last Friday I toured the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. To my astonishment there was an entire retrospective on one floor devoted to Vik Muniz and his spectacular career.

Having grown up in Brazil, he became fascinated with design and graphics at a young age. However, it was not his upbringing or stated purpose to become an artist. He moved to the US in 1983 and the rest as they say, is history.

He composes earthen sculptures on massive scales (300 feet) and pictures of celebrities out of diamonds and caviar.

A true virtuoso.

He will be speaking at Hunter College in Manhattan tonight at 7:30pm. Unfortunately I won't be there.

Montreal Closure Québécois

Its been a few days since I have been back in the United States.

The snow surrounding Montreal was a refreshing change to the daily churn of Manhattan. Although I love the Big Apple, I also love perspective. There is indeed an outside world.

My five days were spent primarily hanging out with my buddy and learning about the culture of the Québécois.

Its still a very European city despite its proximity to Vermont and English speaking areas.

There were two fixed bike shops that I visited that are in their nascent stages: Revolution Montreal run by Danielle and Belleville Bike Coop - run by three guys - I met Tony.

Its great to see that the bike scene in Montreal warrants two fixed gear bike shops centered around messengers and the culture surrounding the industry.

On a side note regarding cycling, it was refreshing to see that throughout much of downtown there were designated bike lanes. Not only were cars not driving in them (like SF and NYC), but these lanes were actually cleared of snow. In fact the pedestrians had to walk on snow and ice, whereas the bicyclists get nice clean lanes for travel. Bravo Montreal!

Montreal is home to the Molson Brewery. In the absence of a proper tour my friend and I were able to get an employee to sell us two 12 packs for $20 Canadian, normally $30. An accomplishment indeed.