Wrapped: Master Paintings + Plastic

Plastic packaging is so ubiquitous in our modern world we might not even see it. A new exhibit of paintings by Victoria Mimiaga makes plastic visible by placing in a space it doesn't belong: old master paintings.

Imagine The Son of Man, the 1964 painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. In Mimiaga's version, the green apple is encased in a plastic zip-top bag. While the bowl of mangos in Gauguin’s Two Tahitian Women has no covering, Mimiaga's version wraps both the bowl and fruit in a shiny layer of plastic. 

All photos courtesy of Victoria Mimiaga

"When plastic becomes visible again, we can begin the many conversations about its reflective aesthetic, its role in our society, and our responsibilities regarding its use," explains the artist. 

Mimiaga's first "Food in Plastic" show was displayed SF MOMA, and featured paintings of simple produce wrapped in plastic. Up next for the artist will be American Gothic + plastic and Monet's garden at Giverny, complete with plastic bags floating in the ponds. 

"There are so many ways I can illustrate the evils of plastic without preaching," says Mimiaga. "My goal is to open a visual dialogue."

Visit Wrapped: Food in Plastics II The Masters at the Telegraph Hill Gallery in San Francisco, CA, through April 27. 

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