Unwrap Before Eating

Victoria Mimiaga’s oil paintings of food – vegetables, candy, even raw meat – are colorful, beautifully rendered still lifes that make the viewer want to eat them. Equal parts impressionist and realist, the paintings have a Wayne Thiebaud quality in their exaggerated colors and features that make them alluring – except for one thing: Each item – even individual cucumbers – is wrapped in clear plastic packaging. Why would Mimiaga downgrade the beauty of these edible items by painting their wrappers? To call attention (albeit with a touch of humor) to the food industry’s overuse of such packaging. In her artist’s statement she says, “In supermarkets, corner bodegas and organic food stores, there are new and creative uses of plastic packaging – in some cases offering little more than heightened protection where none is needed. Items such as bananas, already covered in Nature’s skin, are further enveloped in a silky sheen of polymer.” So she has taken time-honored still-life subjects of fruit, fish, meat, and vegetables to capture the aesthetic – and wastefulness – of plastic. The reception for Mimiaga’s 20-painting show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 30. Continues through Feb. 1, 2010

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