With works at the main contemporary art museums of the world, like Metropolitan, Whitney, MoMA (in New York) and Reina Sofia (In Madrid), Vik Muniz, Brazilian plastic artist known all over the world, can use photography representing a dialogue with Art History, reaching the understanding of the public by the simplicity of the used materials. It breaks the idea that art is something understandable only for those who make it.
Single-child of a waiter and a telephone operator woman, he was still a teenager when we went to US -- where he passed five years underemployed, and even sleeping roughly sometimes. Working at a New York frame shop, he started making kitsch pictures and producing strange ad uncommon sculptures that opened up the doors of the art circuit of the city.
Sawing, sugar, sand, wallpaper, newspaper and trash wee already used at art works by Picasso and Braque around 1912 in Paris. Adding new elements as cotton, chocolate, sugar, wire, earth, strings, spicery, trash, gel, honey, dust and many other materials, Vik Muniz, in an astonishing creative mood, produces works which impress by innovation and intelligence.
The Vik Muniz' cheapest work costs 5 thousand dollars -- a set of 14 of his panels was auctioned in Paris by the trifling amount of 150 thousand dollars. Every time he sells a work which portraits social problems, he donates part of the income to disadvantage children and teenagers institutions.
"Poor people need money. We have to help them directly" -- he says, with the experience of someone who already passed through times like these.
Muniz had an individual exposition at University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa, Florida), presently denominated "Vik Muniz: Reflex". This exposition, organized by the Miami Art Museum, was at the Seattle Art Museum and at thePS1 Contemporary Art Museum, in New York. Until January 2008, the exposition was exhibited at the Musée d'Art Contemporain, in Montreal (Quebec, Canada). He has also published a book, "Reflex - A Vik Muniz Primer" (2005: Aperture Foundation, New York), which contains a compilation of his work and comments about him.
His work had a notable presence at the "The Hours-Visual Art of Contemporary Latin America" (2007), art exhibition presented at the Sidney Contemporary Art Museum, New South Wales, Australia. After a very successful season at MAM-RIO in 2009, with public records reaching 48 thousand visits, the exposition "Vik" went to MASP-Sao Paulo registered 136.449 visitors.
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