In the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz has carefully culled and torn pieces of paper from art, fashion and news magazines; amalgamated them into re-creations of iconic and historically significant paintings; and then photographed and magnified the images, resulting in evocative, exquisitely detailed and entirely unique works of art. Muniz is renowned for his ingenious and laborious employment of unusual materials - dust, sugar, chocoalte, diamonds, caviar, toys, paper hole-punches, junk, dry pigment - to reconstruct images, often art historically related, that tap into the spectator's subconscious visual repository and beg for futher investigation. Muniz's elaborate material creations - in this case the magazine collages - are ephemeral; it is his masterly photographic documentation that is the final work of art, which is intentionally many steps removed from the original image that inspired it.
Vik Muniz was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1961 and currently lives in both New York City and Rio de Janeiro. He has had exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as the International Center of Photography, New York; Museu de Art Moderna, Sao Paulo; Museu de Art Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona; the Menil Collection, Houston; Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rome; the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art, Dublin. His work is also included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museu de Art Moderna, Sao Paulo; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Tate Gallery, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis;the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2001, Muniz represented the Brazilian Pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale.
Vik Muniz is the subject of an Academy Award- nominated documentary film entitled Waste Land (2010), which chronicles the artist's collaborations with a group of catadores - trash pickers - in Jardim Gramacho, Brazil, the world's largest garbage dump, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz spent three years working with these marginalized individuals using the collected recyclable trash to create monumental portraits of them, referencing Old Master paintings, that reveal both their dignity and desperation. Muniz was recently named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for his contributions in education and social development, in particular for his work with the catadores.
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