b. 1961, Brazil

Vik Muniz Artworks

Enshrining his unusual assemblages in the medium of photography, Vik Muniz's art adds new dimensions to established notions of representation.

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The Best of Life

His 1989 series 'The Best of LIFE' was inspired by photographs from the coffee table publication The Best of LIFE, a book he had owned but lost while moving house. Muniz drew the legendary images in the book by memory— iconic images such as Kiss at Times Square and The Man on the Moon (1989)—then photographed the drawings and presented the photos as final works.

Another series, titled 'Pictures of Clouds' (2001), presents photographs taken by the artist of clouds left by a skywriter as they gradually disintegrated and vanished.

Familiar Faces

In contrast to fast fading formations of clouds which can easily disappear from memory, art masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (1503) and photographs of Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe are deeply planted within popular consciousness.

Muniz's depictions of these images, however, rework the iconography in non-traditional mediums that align with the content of the image. His 2004 portrait of Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe (Pictures of Diamonds), is made of diamonds—in reference to her popular song 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend'.

In his 'Pictures of Dust' series (2001), Muniz replicates the works of various famous mid-century American artists—such as Donald Judd's Untitled (1965) and Richard Serra's Prop (1968)—in dust collected from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Discussing the piece in his Joseph M Cohen Family Collection biography, Muniz said: 'Dust is pieces of hair and skin. I think people scratch their heads a lot in museums; that gets mixed with the residue from the artworks themselves. That's the ultimate bond between the museum visitor and the artwork'.

Pictures of Garbage

Muniz has, over the past decade, expanded his visual repertoire beyond contemporary culture to include more personal encounters. In 'Pictures of Garbage' (2008), Muniz presents a series of photographs of garbage pickers he encoutered at an open-air dumpsite called Jardim Gramacho just outside of Rio de Janeiro.

Retaining his interest in iconography, however, he stages the pickers as the subjects of classical portraits, such as the slain titular revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat from Death of Marat (1793) by Jacques-Louis David's. Details in images were accentuated with the garbage that had been scavenged by the models.

In Waste Land (2010), the documentary film accompanying the series, directed by Lucy Walker, Muniz outlines that he wanted to 'change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with every day'. Indeed, with the critical acclaim and success of the documentary, the artist and the filmmakers have been able to donate more than $300,000 to Jardim Gramacho pickers' community.

Superfícies

Paying homage to 20th century modernist masters such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Sonia Delauney, Vik Muniz's ongoing series 'Superfícies (Surfaces)' (2019-Ongoing) brings renewed focus to physicality, surface and texture in abstract painting.

Often qualities overlooked in remembering such works, Muniz's photographs of his assemblages highlight these surface details, often made invisible in two-dimensional photographic reproductions, through layering and shadow.

Browse Artworks
Surfaces: Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair, after Pablo Picasso by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair, after Pablo Picasso, 2021 Archival inkjet print
152.4 x 101.6 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Superfícies: Three Musicians, a partir de Pablo Picasso by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Superfícies: Three Musicians, a partir de Pablo Picasso, 2021 Inkjet printing on archival paper
127 x 146.1 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Superfícies: Still Life, a partir de Pablo Picasso by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Superfícies: Still Life, a partir de Pablo Picasso, 2021 Inkjet printing on archival paper
91.4 x 123.2 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Superfícies: Still Life with Fish, a partir de Picasso by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Superfícies: Still Life with Fish, a partir de Picasso, 2020 Inkjet printing on archival paper
76.2 x 90.4 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Superfícies: The Reservoir at Horta de Erdo, a partir de Picasso by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Superfícies: The Reservoir at Horta de Erdo, a partir de Picasso, 2021 Iinkjet printing on archival paper
130.2 x 109.2 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Superfícies: Nude Descending Staircase by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Superfícies: Nude Descending Staircase, 2021 Inkjet printing on archival paper
151.1 x 91.4 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Still Life 1936, after Ben Nicholson by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Still Life 1936, after Ben Nicholson, 2021 Archival inkjet print
76.2 x 115.3 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Earthworks Brooklyn: Brooklyn, NY (Amarillo Ramp, after Smithson) by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz Earthworks Brooklyn: Brooklyn, NY (Amarillo Ramp, after Smithson), 1999/2013 Digital c-print
50 x 78.5 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Postcards from Nowhere: Magic Kingdom by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Postcards from Nowhere: Magic Kingdom, 2020 Archival inkjet print
160 x 240.8 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Repro: Glyptoteket (Reclining Tahitian Women, Gauguin) by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork print
Vik Muniz Repro: Glyptoteket (Reclining Tahitian Women, Gauguin), 2018 Digital c-print
101.6 x 165.1 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Repro: Ten Hummingbirds, after Martin Johnson Heade by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz Repro: Ten Hummingbirds, after Martin Johnson Heade, 2020 Archival inkjet print
152.4 x 250.2 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Garden Design 2, after Burle Marx by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork mixed media
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Garden Design 2, after Burle Marx, 2019 Mixed media
109.2 x 185.2 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Repro: Musee d’Orsay (Rochefort’s Escape, after Manet) by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz Repro: Musee d’Orsay (Rochefort’s Escape, after Manet), 2016 Digital c-print
204 x 180.3 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Verso (Back of the Painting): Ilha de Itamaraca by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork sculpture
Vik Muniz Verso (Back of the Painting): Ilha de Itamaraca, 2016 Mixed media object
82 x 108 x 6 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
The Education of Cupid, after Correggio by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz The Education of Cupid, after Correggio, 2004 Framed chromogenic print mounted on aluminium
97 x 71 inches
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Provincetown II, after Marsden Hartley by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork mixed media
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Provincetown II, after Marsden Hartley, 2019 Mixed media
133.9 x 106.7 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Painterly Archictectonic, after Liubov Popova by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork mixed media
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Painterly Archictectonic, after Liubov Popova, 2019 Mixed media
156.7 x 106.7 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Portrait of a middle aged mexican soap opera star by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork mixed media
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Portrait of a middle aged mexican soap opera star, 2019 Mixed media
152.4 x 109.2 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Surfaces: Blue mess by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork mixed media
Vik Muniz Surfaces: Blue mess, 2020 Mixed media
76.2 x 101.6 cm
Galeria Nara Roesler Contact Gallery
Pro Eto, after Rodchenko by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz Pro Eto, after Rodchenko, 2007 Chromogenic print mounted on aluminium
274 x 180 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
Conversation with the Finance Inspector about Poetry, after Rodchenko by Vik Muniz contemporary artwork photography, print
Vik Muniz Conversation with the Finance Inspector about Poetry, after Rodchenko, 2007 Chromogenic print mounted on aluminium
244 x 180 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
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