Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz is a fantastic artist form São Paulo, Brazil who uses peanut butter and jam, chocolate, sugar, wire, dirt and diamonds (etc) to create large-scale images, which he then photographs. His landscape or portrait images are usually inspired by current events, celebrities and historical figures. He has reinterpreted a number of famous works including the Last Supper (made out of chocolate sauce) and the Mona Lisa (made out of pb&j). Most recently, he's been working on even larger scale images, involving huge piles of junk or drawing cartoon cloud images in the sky with the help of a jet pilot. I heard about Muniz when my friend's parents came back from their home in Brazil and described his work to me. I am sure his gallery shows are fascinating because from a distance, his peices look like line drawings, or sketches (made from wire), etchings (made from string) or paintings (...), but once you take a closer look, you realize that the photograph is made up of something much more interesting. Relief in the image is created by layering string or bits of paper, and the 3-dimensionality of it is physical. In otherwors, there is this tension between what you would expect and what the image really is.

Here is a short clip of him reinterpreting the image of Atlas with piles of junk:

And for those who are interested, here is an interview with the artist. He is quite funny and very creative.

1 comment:

Excaliborn7 said...

I saw a show of Muniz photographs in New York a few years ago. It was pretty incredible. The painting to photo transformation has a certain magic to it, as you point out.