Vik Muniz

2005

Vik Muniz is an influential contemporary Brazilian artist best known for his complex photographic works. Sourcing a wide variety of eclectic and found materials—chocolate, jelly, toys, and trash—Muniz recreates iconic art historical works and scenes from popular culture. By displaying the final piece as a photograph, he explores memory, perception, and the nature of images as represented in arts and communication. Born Vicente José de Oliveira Muniz December 20, 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil, the artist starred in the documentary film Waste Land (2010) tracking the course of his project Pictures of Garbage (2008). This series of large-scale images was created with the help of catadores—the people who scour Rio’s sizable trash dump for recyclable materials. Muniz was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for his social activism, and the artist has had his work exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, among others. He currently lives and works between Brooklyn, NY and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.