Powerful Pop

This time the Museum of Art brings out some of the best of its permanent collection

The eeriness is amplified when you get close enough to see that each spoon bears the image of an open human mouth, printed directly onto the metal using an old photographic technique known as heliography. As curator Ginger Gregg Duggan points out in a handout for the installation, these disembodied mouths are instantly evocative of Francis Bacon's notorious portraits of screaming popes and Edvard Munch's The Scream -- classic images of existential angst.

Mao (1972) was part of Andy Warhol's own cultural revolution
Mao (1972) was part of Andy Warhol's own cultural revolution

More to the point, "Bocanada," which means "a mouthful," is a bitterly ironic rumination on hunger, with the spoons and mouths suggesting that which is absent: food. The beauty of this haunting installation is that it so deftly melds its aesthetic and political dimensions. It's the most emotionally affecting political art I've seen in South Florida since Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar's "Lament of the Images," a trio of installations about the genocide in Rwanda, presented by MoA in 1999.

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