Shared roots: Vik Muniz x Ruinart
“The more difficult the path, the better the result”
- Vik Muniz
The affair of wine and art has a long history, with many great artists having contributed to the image of wine bottles and style of packaging, transforming each into timeless collectable pieces.
A famous example of great collaborations that still remains one of the most exciting to date, is by Château Mouton Rothschild, which from 1924 till 2015 have been presenting wine labels created by some of the greatest artists of our time.
Nowadays, the oldest Champagne House (established in 1729), Maison Ruinart is at the forefront with the most exceptional art collaborations. Starting with Alphonse Mucha in 1896, the list of the world’s finest contemporary artists now includes projects with Liu Bolin, Jaume Plensa, Erwin Olaf, and recently Vik Muniz, to name a few.
VIK MUNIZ x RUINART
Maison Ruinart became an artistic residence for the Brazilian experimental artist Vik Muniz, where he, hosted by the the cellar master Frèdèric Panaïotis, discovered the craft of the champagne-making. The artist spent most of the time at the vineyard, meticulously looking through the leaves and vines to then, create a series of works called «Shared Roots».
It is fascinating to look from a different perspective at that which is familiar to us, and through the eye of an artist, we discover and reinvent the vineyard: “I like the concept of vineyards, as they are also a form of collaboration between nature and man”—says Vik Muniz, who defines himself as a “Low-tech illusionist”.
“Flow Hands” photograph of the Flow series reinterprets the vine stocks; the hands holding the vine belongs to the cellar master himself, and together they are instilled in a powerful image drawing parallels between the human hands and vines. All materials used are natural, with artist using blackened wood and charcoal, it is almost as if the vines are “painting” themselves.
Black-and-white photographs, that portray movement and nature of the plants, are easily mistaken with drawings, full of air and life, as they capture a deep and fundamental connection between human and nature.
Complex work process took place in the Ruinart chalk cellars. Artist carefully chose the right shapes and colors of leaves for the vivid autumn palette that was destined to become an impressive «Chardonnay leaf», a hommage to the emblematic grape variety used in the Ruinart cuvées.
The creation of a human-size leaf was recorded on time-lapse, and final result captured by Vik Muniz, before the leaves and vines returned back to nature. We are left with the video and a photographic reproduction—a careful reminder of the movement in nature and ever changing life.
Vik and his team completed the work in the artist’s studio in Rio, with Frèdèric Panaïotisone being the first to see the collection, before collection presentation in Palais Brongniart, Paris hosted by Maison Ruinart.
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