Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder examines the full breadth of the imaginative artist’s career and features more than 100 photographs, including many of Muniz’s most recent works.
Feast for the Eyes explores the rich history of food as a subject in photography. From basic sustenance to decadent feasts, food awakens the senses and touches both private and public life. As a subject that is commonly at hand, food has been and continues to be widely depicted. And photographs of food – much like food itself – can raise deep-seated questions around ideas of family, tradition, lifestyle, gender, race, pleasure and disgust.
Michael Eastman at Edwynn Houk Gallery
Missouri-born photographer Michael Eastman utilizes formal elements such as color, surface, and patina to express emotional narratives in his architectural images. In his expansive oeuvre, the artist aims to capture historical interiors and landscapes with a visual language that’s rich in color, architecturally precise, and emotionally evocative.
Abelardo Morell at Edwynn Houk Gallery
Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morell is renowned for his mastery of a centuries-old technique of recording images with a camera obscura to capture urban and landscape scenes on monumental scales. View of Central Park Looking North, Spring, 2010 showcases the artist’s capacity to capture enchanting scenes that bring exterior spaces indoors.
The acclaimed Brazilian visual artist and photographer Vik Muniz is best known for his bold and layered recreations of canonical artworks using a range of media. In conversation with Monocle’s Robert Bound, Muniz muses on the role of art, his fascination with illusion and image and his influences, which range from Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys to his grandmother and his childhood in 1970s Brazil.
Vik Muniz has created iconic photographs of chocolate syrup, spaghetti and marinara sauce, caviar, and sugar. Lee Brian Schrager, South Beach Food & Wine Festival founder and director, interviews the arist about his unique methodology.
“Do you know what is actually in paint? They used to grind up mummies to make brown, what is less orthodox than paint?” – Vik Muniz
Art is not a thing, it is not a subject, it is not something that you can grab or understand. Art is a vehicle, a filter; you have to pass life through it in order for it to work.
Muniz sees himself precisely as Cézanne or Matisse; easel painters, people who took their canvases to the landscape and painted what they were looking at. Muniz is doing the same thing, but his landscape is different. His landscape is the result of a cross referential maze of loaded images of every preconceived image full of what has come before it. Every image has attached to it the memory of that image and the memory of making that image. We see too many images and the images are very complicated. If we are going to reproduce the world as artists, that has to come with the same complexity as the world, but, in order to do that you have to start from the very beginning.
Vik Muniz, the Brazilian artist, has worked between New York and Rio de Janeiro his entire career and said he has “known the subway sometimes better than I wanted to.” He has become highly regarded for pieces based on materials antithetical to permanence and, seemingly, to seriousness: chocolate, spaghetti sauce, thread, trash.
Vik Muniz’s New York studio used to be a repair garage for school buses, which seems oddly appropriate given the decidedly childish spirit of its current occupant. The Brazilian-born artist, 53, found international fame making portraits from spaghetti, copying Monet’s Rouen Cathedral in chocolate syrup and recreating the Mona Lisa out of peanut butter and jam.
“I’m trying to figure out a correspondence between the image in your mind and the image that you see,” he says, sitting on the edge of his sofa, cup of coffee in hand. And he thinks he might have come close with his Postcards from Nowhere series. These large-scale collages (on show this weekend as part of Photo London) are giant copies of vintage postcards that are themselves created from shredded old cards. For Muniz, they are an attempt to capture the way we recall any place in our minds as a composite of other places we’ve been to or imagined. “There’s a great German word,” he says, “Bildflud – flood of images.”
The Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz recreates famous images using unlikely materials such as chocolate, diamonds, dirt, string and sugar. (He has, for example, made a Mona Lisa from peanut butter and jam.) He then photographs his creations, before destroying them, leaving the photogrpah as the final artwork.
The photographer Vik Muniz often says that while he considers himself an American artist, his use of imagery owes everything to Brazil, where he was born and raised.
“I’m a product of a military dictatorship,” he said recently at his New York gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Company. “Under a dictatorship, you cannot trust information or dispense it freely because of censorship. So Brazilians become very flexible in the use of metaphors. They learn to communicate with double meanings.”