Galeria Nara Roesler brings to its Rio headquarters Handmade, an exhibition by Vik Muniz, whose first version was presented in its space in São Paulo in 2016. The Handmade series arrives in Rio with unpublished works in which Vik renews paths and procedures present in its production, when investigating the tenuous frontier between reality and representation, between the original object and its copy. Without narrative recourse, works explicitly reveal the work process, while playing with the certainties of the viewer.
According to the artist, what you expect to be a photo is not, and what you expect to be an object is a photographic image. "In an age when everything is reproducible, the difference between the work and the image of the work almost does not exist," he says. In her text about the series, Luisa Duarte points out the difficulty of distinguishing where the copy ends and where the artist's manual intervention begins. "It is in this limbo of the certainties that the artist wishes to insert us."
Duarte points out that in Handmade, unlike his works made from known images and references to mundane materials, "Vik alludes to the vast tradition of abstract art, distilling for this his basic formulas in creating unusual ways of meditating on the image and the object, the ambiguity of the senses and the importance of the illusion." In his text, Duarte concludes: "Handmade traces the artist's constant concern to transcend the symbolic dimensions of the image."
Besides the paradoxical relation between image and object and the recurrent use of illusionist strategies - "Illusion is a fundamental requirement of all kinds of language", he says - these works flirt with conceptual art and establish an intense dialogue with abstract art, kinetic and concrete. Above all, according to Vik, for the common interest in Gestalt theories, more specifically in the fields of psychology and science.
About the artist
Vik Muniz (1961, São Paulo, Brazil, lives and works between Rio de Janeiro and New York) stands out as one of the most innovative and creative artists of the 21st century. Known for creating what he describes as photographic illusions, Muniz works with a wide range of unconventional materials - including sugar, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust and litter - to meticulously create images before registering them with his camera. His photographs often cite iconic images of popular culture and art history, challenging the spectator's easy classification and perception. His most recent production poses a challenge to the public by presenting works that put the viewer constantly in check on the boundaries between reality and performance, as attested by Two Nails (1987/2016), whose first version belongs to MoMA in New York.
Vik Muniz began his artistic career when he arrived in New York in 1984, making his first solo exhibition in 1988. Since then, he has been gaining enormous recognition, exhibiting in prestigious institutions around the world. We can emphasize among them: Vik Muniz: Handmade (Nichido Contemporary Art, NCA, Tokyo, Japan, 2017); Afterglow: Pictures of Ruins (Palazzo Cini, Venice, Italy, 2017); Vik Muniz (Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterrey, Mexico, 2017); Vik Muniz: A Retrospective (Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bloomington, USA, 2017); Vik Muniz (High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA, 2016); Vik Muniz: Verse (Mauritshuis, The Hage, The Netherlands, 2016); Lampedusa, 56th Venice Biennial (Naval Environment of Venice, Italy, 2015); Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perceptions (Lowe Art Museum, Miami, USA, 2015); 2000 edition of the Whitney Biennial (Whitney Museum of American Art); 46th Bienal Media / Metaphor Exhibition (Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, USA, 2000); and the 24th São Paulo International Biennial (1998).
His works are part of important public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Center Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, among many others in Brazil and abroad. In 2001, Muniz represented Brazil at the 49th Venice Biennial.
Muniz is also the subject of the film Waste Land, nominated for an Oscar for best documentary in 2010, and in 2011, was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
Press release courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.