São Paulo, Brazil b.1961
Born in 1961 in São Paulo, Vik Muniz relocated to the United States in 1983 and has established his name as one of the most prominent contemporary artists. Vik Muniz is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works ultimately takes the form of photography. For more than thirty years, Muniz has collaged and assembled from a variety of prosaic materials, such as pigment, magazine, scrap metal, thread, photo album, garbage and food-creating images in reference to recognizable images throughout the history of art and popular culture. With a seemingly playful sense of humor, Muniz put forward a quietly hopeful question: how do we perceive and understand this world without being influenced by our preconception? With his masterful use of unorthodox material, Muniz continuously surprises his audience by transmitting anything mundane into something perpetual and sublime.
His work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions worldwide with recent solo exhibitions at the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands (all 2016). His work is included in the collections of major international museums such as: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; among many others.
Muniz is involved in social projects that use art-making as a force for change. In 2010 his work with a group of catadores – pickers of recyclable materials – was the subject of the Academy Award nominated documentary film Waste Land. In recognition of his contributions to education and social development including his work with the catadores, he was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011. More recently, he opened Escola Vidigal, offering preschool and afterschool programs in art, design and technology to children 4 to 8 years old at the favela Vidigal in Rio de Janeiro.
Muniz currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.