“To copy is to extend the symbolic value of an image by suffusing it with new technology, thus updating its rhetorical approach.” —Vik Muniz
Muniz’s cerebral artistry centers on visual literacy and the nature of visual cognition, and often refers to, or artistically dialogues with, well-known masterworks in the creation of his pieces. For example, in his series Pictures of Garbage created during the filming of his Oscar-nominated Waste Land (2011), each picker is posed in a way that recalls a great masterwork like Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Marat, or Picasso’s Woman Ironing. Muniz consistently points to the intersection of the material base and the immaterial idea originating in his mind. This concretization of the immaterial is a process that also deeply explores the perception of color vs. its reality. In Waste Land, Muniz discusses the moment where the perception of the material passes into the image/idea as a (for him) “magical” moment and “the most beautiful.” Vik Muniz now lives and works in New York City and Rio de Janeiro.