Pizza Box Art Served Up at DUMBO Art Gallery

By Janet Upadhye on March 12, 2014 9:07am 

DUMBO — It's a slice of pizza history.

Art-lovers with a taste for pizza can get their fill at a DUMBO gallery, where a dozen pizza boxes from all over the world have been put on display.

The boxes collected by Scott Wiener, 32, a pizza tour guide, are painted with Homer Simpson look-a-likes, tattoo-inspired art, and idyllic Italian villages are displayed in the Melville House Gallery, at 145 Plymouth St., through the end of the month.

Wiener — who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pizza boxes — chose 11 of the 12 boxes in his exhibit from a 650-piece stockpile because they weren't made for a particular company.

"I just love the generic pizza box so much because it is not trying to sell anything," he said. "It's a box that just celebrates pizza."

The last box in the exhibit was designed by artist Ed Hardy in 2010 for San Francisco's Tony's Pizza and is one of Wiener's all-time favorites.

The exhibit celebrates Wiener's recently published book, "Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box," which explores the history and trends of pizza box art over four decades and features 100 box designs.

Wiener, of Bed-Stuy, has been collecting boxes over the last six years. He became interested in pizza boxes during a visit to Israel where he spotted a box painted in orange instead of the traditional red and white. The pizza-lover then began to notice pizza box art every where he went.

"Once you look at pizza box that is not what you are used to it makes you reconsider all the other mundane things that you have seen," he said.

Wiener stores his boxes — from 45 different countries — in the closet of his 650-square-foot  apartment. They are compressed, coordinated by size, photographed and bound. Still they are spilling into his living room.

"I might have to reconsider storage soon," he said.

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