Vik Muniz    

Brooklyn-Based Artist

Vik Muniz was one of the creative directors of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Ceremonies. He is one of the most well-regarded Brazilian visual artists in the global art scene. For the last three decades, he has lived between Brazil and the US, and his works are considered striking due to their huge dimensions and to the use of odd materials such as chocolate, debris and even sugar. The work he has done with garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro is the theme of Waste Land, a documentary film that got an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, besides being awarded at Sundance and Berlin film festivals.

Because he's self-effacing, frankly open and thought-provoking, all at the same time. Vik Muniz's explorations into the power of representation and his masterful use of unexpected materials such as chocolate syrup, toy soldiers and paper confetti mean that his resulting images transcend mere gimmickry.

Muniz is often hailed as a master illusionist, but he says he's not interested in fooling people. Rather, he wants his images to show people a measure of their own belief. Muniz has exhibited his playfully provocative work in galleries all over the world. Describing the history of photography as "the history of blindness," his images simply but powerfully remind a viewer of what it means to see, and how our preconceptions can color every experience.

"Think of brilliant trickster Vik Muniz as the offspring of Man Ray and Jacques Henri Lartigue, combining the former's relentless experimentation, the latter's effortless wit, and their mutual inventiveness in work that defies category."

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