Vik Muniz is an innovative artist who creates imagery within a nexus of diverse media. Working with a dizzying array of unconventional materials—including sugar, tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust, and junk—Muniz painstakingly builds tableaux before recording them with his camera. From a distance, the subject of each resulting photograph is discernible; up close, the work reveals a complex and surprising matrix through which it was assembled. That revelatory moment when one thing transforms into another is of deep interest to the artist.
Muniz’s work often quotes iconic images from popular culture and art history, drawing on our sense of collective memory while defying easy classification and mischievously engaging a viewer’s process of perception. His more recent work incorporates electron microscopes and manipulates microorganisms to explore issues of scale and to unveil both the familiar and the strange in spaces that are typically inaccessible to the human eye.
This major mid-career retrospective canvasses more than twenty-five years of Muniz’s work to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, reminding us of the power of art to surprise, delight, and transform our perceptions of the world.
The exhibit will be showing through August 21st, 2016. If you’re in Atlanta, take a look.
Vik Muniz was also the driving force of the documentary Lixo Extraordinário (Waste Land), 2010. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.