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Vik Muniz: A Retrospective

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Medusa Marinara by Vik       Muniz
Medusa Marinara

Action Photo I (After Hans Namuth) by Vik       Muniz
Action Photo I (After Hans Namuth)

Untitled by Vik       Muniz
Memory Rendering of a 3D Screening

Parcel by Vik       Muniz

Valentina the Fastest, from the
The Sugar Children; Valentine

Torso (After Frantisek Dritkol) by Vik       Muniz
Torso (After Frantisek Dritkol)

Torso (After Frantisek Dritkol) by Vik       Muniz
The Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery ,
Oct 28, 2000 - Jan 28, 2001
Saratoga Springs, New York , USA

Vik Muniz: A Retrospective
by means of Press Release

Vik Muniz: A Retrospective at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery of Skidmore College, is the first museum survey of the work of this Brazilian born, New York- based photographer Vik Muniz. Curated by Charles A. Stainback, the exhibit will tour internationally with showings scheduled at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans and at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.

The most intriguing feature of Muniz’s work is the fact that they are removed from the object the photographs represent. In working with non-conventional materials such as dirt, chocolate syrup, sugar, wire and thread, Muniz transforms these items into what he calls "photographic delusions". At first these images appear to be familiar or sometimes commonplace; however, a closer look, reveals that the photographs are actually created from this variety of unusual materials. This process of creating photographs challenges our common definition of photography. Influenced by seemingly disparate sources such as optical illusions, photo-realist paintings, sight gags, abstractions, and real-life absurdities.

Ever since the proclamation "painting is dead" was made shortly after the invention of photography in the early part of the nineteenth century, painterly realism has been at odds with, if not an outright victim of, photographic veracity. Muniz understands this predicament all too well. "What really fascinates me about the photographic process," Muniz says, " is that it endorses the existence of things. A chocolate puddle with the like- ness of Freud becomes part of the same history as its notable subject. Photography reveals their true identity as objects."

Vik Muniz was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and currently lives and works in New York City. Muniz's most recent showings include solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Honolulu and the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris. In addition, Muniz has participated in various group exhibitions including the 2000 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Photography 13 Exhibition and The Museum as Muse: Artist Reflect, both at the Modern Museum of Art in New York, and Abacadabra at the Tate Gallery in London.

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