Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz

1961 - present

Artist Information

Vik Muniz is a Brazilian artist, photographer and sculptor. He is famous for paying homage to famous old master’s paintings and celebrity portraits using unconventional materials such as sugar, chocolate syrup, dust, tomato sauce and diamonds to reproduce them. Muniz photographs those original and groundbreaking pieces, ultimately destroying them to ensure the photograph becomes the piece itself.

As a social activist, Muniz aims to contribute to social and political causes through his artistic practice, being designated in 2011 UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. His series of work Pictures of Garbage, documenting the lives of the trash pickers – ‘catadores’ – working in one of the world’s largest garbage dumps located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, was featured in the documentary film Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker and nominated to the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. As stated by the artist in the documentary, ‘what I want to be able to do is to change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with every day’.

Currently represented by Galeria Nara Roesler in New York and Brazil, his work enjoys critical and commercial success being exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world.