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Photography, The Way Only Vik Muniz Does it, at Chrysler Museum of Art

  • Jerusalem, from the series Postcards from Nowhere, 2015
  • A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Edouard Manet, from the series Pictures of Magazines 2, 2012
  • Sandcastle #10, from the series Sandcastles, 2014
  • Mahana No Atua (Day of the Gods), after Gauguin, from the series Pictures of Pigment, 2005
  • Double Mona Lisa (Peanut butter and Jelly), from the series After Warhol, 1999
August 5, 2018
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreja-velimirovi%C4%87-74068a68/

The Chrysler Museum of Art is currently hosting a major exhibition of photographs by the celebrated contemporary artist Vik Muniz. Titled Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder, this show is a comprehensive retrospective that includes more than 100 works.

The showcase has an ambitious goal of exploring the full range of the imaginative artist’s career, taking into account both his earliest works and the latest creations.

Valentine, The Fastest, from the series Sugar Children, 1996 / Medusa Marinara, from the series After Warhol, 1997
Left: Vik Muniz – Valentine, The Fastest, from the series Sugar Children, 1996. Gelatin silver print, 22 x 19.3 x 1 inches. © Vik Muniz / Right: Vik Muniz – Medusa Marinara, from the series After Warhol, 1997. Cibachrome print, exhibition, 12 inches diameter. © Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz’s Photographic Delusions

Vik Muniz is often cited among the most innovative and creative artists working today. He produces works which he likes to call “photographic delusions”, pieces that playfully investigate the correlation between visual memory and human perception.

These works begin as sculptural assemblages made from an array of unconventional materials, such as chocolate syrup, tomato sauce, magazine clippings, dust, trash and diamonds. After he makes them, however, Muniz records his creations in sharp detail with a camera. He does so in order to unveil both the familiar and the strange in spaces typically inaccessible to the human eye.

Muniz’s images usually resemble familiar scenes taken either from popular culture or masterpieces from art history.

Action Photo after Hans Namuth, from the series Pictures of Chocolate, 1998 / Toy Soldier, from the series Monads, 2003
Left: Vik Muniz – Action Photo after Hans Namuth, from the series Pictures of Chocolate, 1998. Cibachrome print, 61 x 49.2 x 1.9 inches. © Vik Muniz and the estate of Hans Namuth, VAGA / Right: Vik Muniz – Toy Soldier, from the series Monads, 2003. Digital chromogenic print, 92 x 72 inches. © Vik Muniz/Galerie Xippas, Paris

The Most Comprehensive Retrospective of the Artist’s Work to Date

Seth Feman, Curator of Exhibitions and Curator of Photography at the Chrysler Museum, seems to hold the work of Vik Muniz in a very high regard:

Muniz has devoted his creative energies to playfully questioning what our eyes take for granted. The inviting and accessible works meditate on human perception and optics, helping us think about how we see, how we remember and how we’ve come to trust our eyes.

The show is the most comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work to date, and it includes artworks taken from nearly every stage of his career.

From the early works that engage the relationship between form and meaning, through large photographs created using thousands of found snapshots of unknown people, all the way to the controversial works which feature actual bacteria and cancer cells – all of that is currently on display at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Marlene Dietrich, from the series Pictures of Diamonds, 2004 / Marat (Sebastião,) from the series Pictures of Garbage, 2008-11
Left: Vik Muniz – Marlene Dietrich, from the series Pictures of Diamonds, 2004. Digital C print, 65.2 x 51.6 x 1.9 inches. © Vik Muniz/Galerie Xippas, Paris / Right: Vik Muniz – Marat (Sebastião,) from the series Pictures of Garbage, 2008-11. Digital chromogenic print, 30 x 24 inches. © Vik Muniz/Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Vik Muniz Art at Chrysler Museum of Art

In order to make the entire show even more interesting, the people behind the exhibition decided to include a hands-on activity inspired by the processes Muniz uses in his work. Visitors get to make their own creations before photographing and sharing them on social media.

Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder is on view through October 14, 2018 at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, US. It is co-organized by the Foundation of the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/New York/Paris/Lausanne and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Featured images: Vik Muniz – Jerusalem, from the series Postcards from Nowhere, 2015. Digital C print, 74.6 x 111 x 2.3 inches. © Vik Muniz; A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Edouard Manet, from the series Pictures of Magazines 2, 2012. Digital C print, 71 x 98.1 x 2 inches. © Vik Muniz / Ben Brown Fine Arts, London; Sandcastle #10, from the series Sandcastles, 2014. Digital chromogenic print, 71 x 86.9 inches. © Vik Muniz/Sikkema Jenkins & Co.; Mahana No Atua (Day of the Gods), after Gauguin, from the series Pictures of Pigment, 2005. Chromogenic print, exhibition, 74.6 x 95.6 x 2.3 inches. © Vik Muniz; Double Mona Lisa (Peanut butter and Jelly), from the series After Warhol, 1999. Digital C Print, 49.6 x 61.4 x 1.9 inches. © Vik Muniz/Galerie Xippas, Paris. All images courtesy the Chrysler Museum of Art.