Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Jewish Childhood: Back to Jeu de Paume Museum Part 2.
Monday, 07 July 2014 19:16

Oscar Munoz's work is called multi-faceted: photography, printmaking, drawing, installation, video and sculpture. What I found was most evocative was his use of what I call ‘now you see it, now you don't’. What he calls the capacity of images to retain memory. But what if what he does when he uses water on concrete to paint an image, which slowly evaporates, leaving only concrete.

I thought of my first true love. That love, delicately displayed for what seemed like a moment, then gone, ceasing to exist on this plane, caught in photos. I knew at once she was there, at one time real, to touch, feel, breathe. Sometimes an embrace shared, the breath moving quickly, then gone. Then back. Another attempt. The breath again quickened. Then gone. What can I call it besides:  First. Real. Love. Better than in the novels.

But her, she was real. See. Look at the snapshots. Yes, we were we. We were alive and real, and then like Munoz's water on the brush on the concrete, she was there and then she was gone.

I truly enjoyed Munoz's work: his representation, the unstable image and its instability. Demonstrating an image in flux. Using Photography as a memory tool, the role of the viewer and the passing of time.

He uses essential elements. Water, air and fire in a number of his works, "refers to processes, cycles and transcendental manifestations of life, existence and death”. Click here: oscar munoz, artist - AOL Image Search Results

His photographic portraits taken in the streets from 1950s and 60s and forms what he calls a "collective portrait of a city at a given point in history”. These are anonymous portraits.

How do images retain memory? For me, I have illustrated it above with my first true love. How does that work for you? Tell me if you can.

He deals with the way time "gradually effaces the body's identity." The self-portrait floating on the surface of water in a basin then disappears.

Other work called imprints consists of portraits taken from "obituaries printed in silkscreen with grease on mirrors through the viewer's breath: the reflected image is thus replaced by the printed image of a deceased person who fleetingly returns. I think of dreams where my mother or father or perhaps a dog who has since passed appears as if alive again only to wake up and know that, in reality, they are gone.

Each time I go to this wonderful museum, I am surprised. I am introduced to artists I never knew existed. I am carried to another time in space or a new dimension. I long to visit this Jeu de Paume more often but must be satisfied with my once a year trip. Thank you for coming on the journey with me through my Jewish Childhood Blog.