Friday, July 14, 2006

Burritos as high art.

There is no taqueria in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so I was a bit surprised to find a burrito within the museum's hallowed halls. The Art of Betty Woodman, an exhibition at the Met, is a retrospective of the artist's ceramics, mostly vases with attached panels (flaps? wings?) painted with patterns that claim roots in varied traditons from Etruscan to Japanese. One of the most arresting pieces, maybe because of its name as much as anything else, was not a vase, but as the artist had labelled it, an Erotic Burrito. There was no picture to be found online, but the New York Observer's review of the exhibit has this to say by way of description: "Erotic Burrito (1971) consists of a saddle-like orifice set upon a flaccid pillow of stoneware, and it suggests that sexual relations pose a burden that a burrito should never have to bear." Being from New York, it is not clear that the Observer truly knows the extent of the passion that burritos have borne. As I currently reside in San Francisco, I can say that I am quite comfortable with the notion of burritos as erotic.


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