Artist Vik Muniz is known for manipulating familiar materials by hand, like chocolate sauce, diamonds or pieces of garbage, and re-composing iconic images from art history or pop culture.
These painstakingly crafted constructions are temporary, while the photographs he takes of them constitute the final artwork. Adding to this transfiguration of materials, Muniz also alters their scale, creating monumental artworks with a mosaic of materials as fine as a grain of sand.
Pictures of Garbage is one of Muniz's most recognized series. in one of the world's largest garbage dumps, Jardim Gramacho outside of Rio de Janeiro, Muniz relied on local catadores or garbage pickers to supply him with discarded toilet seats, shoes and other refuse to recreate his famous works of art piece by piece.
In his recent series, Handmade, Muniz worked with materials such as paper, rope and fabric to create geometric compositions, Photography is central to Muniz's constructing of the imagery, but he also integrates physical materials into the final artwork. Fusing reality and representation, Muniz may layer ripped paper over a photograph of ripped paper or adhere rope to an image of an object bound with rope. \
"It always goes both ways," Muniz says. "What you expect to be a photo isn't, and what you expect to be an object is a photographic image."
A closed-circuit gallery interactive will allow visitors to try making a large mosaic image of their own.
Vik Muniz ia an internationally acclaimed artist. He maintains a studio in his native Brazil as well as in Brooklyn, N.Y. Muniz also has been recognized for raising awareness and attempting to better societal issues such as poverty and environmental damage caused by mankind.
Vik Muniz: Hand Remade features the Pictures of Garbage series, a gift of Brent Sikkema, as well as recent work from the Handmade series, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins in New York.
Vik Muniz: Hand Remade is organized by the Figge Art Museum.
Chris and Mary Rayburn