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vik muniz: art from life

Brazilian born Vik Muniz has a sharp sense of humor, a comfortable, engaging speaking style and undeniable talent.

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[private_archives]The New York based artist creates larger-than-life (Earthworks) and smaller-than-life art (like the 1994 thread landscapes seen below) that make me rethink art and art materials.  I’m always intrigued by artists that use the mundane objects of everyday life as art materials and Muniz does not disappoint.


This image was created with 9,000 yards of  thread – no sewing involved

Preferring low-tech materials like sugar, thread, dust, chocolate, earth, magazines, caviar and garbage, Muniz seems to move swiftly from material to material, completing a few pieces then moving on to the next, challenged by both the limitations and the possibilities offered by each material.


Pictures of Thread


His website offers a comprehensive archive of work from 1987 – 2008. To view videos of the Thread series and hear the artist talk about his work please go to the 1994 archive and click on the video links (the Detail video of Pictures of Thread is spectacular).


Valentina – from the Sugar Children series – sugar, paper


For each Sugar Children portrait, Muniz  manipulated mounds of white sugar on a piece of black paper with amazingly realistic results. In this TED video he speaks about how he came to make the sugar pictures and walks us through his thought process for many of the other artworks.


Look closely at Toy Soldier, the image is made up of plastic toy soldiers


Muniz has such a wide range of work that it was difficult to pick a few images for this post. The West Collection has a nice selection representing a variety of Muniz’ work –  more than twenty images from the Remastered exhibition.

Vik Muniz has exhibits in Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and New York City (MoMa through February 23rd) this year, with a speaking engagement in Boston at Museum of Fine Art.  Go. See. Listen. Hear. Learn. Love.

TED video via Keke Cribbs

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