POETICS OF PERCEPTION
FEBRUARY 7–APRIL 27, 2014
A master of metamorphoses, Vik Muniz presents familiar yet startling reconstructions combining drawing, sculpture, and photography. Over twenty years, this Brazilian-born artist has gained international renown for masterfully creating reproductions from the cannons of art history and the archives of popular culture. His reconstructions are created from nontraditional materials such as soil, chocolate syrup, magazine clippings, industrial refuse, garbage, and diamonds. Muniz successfully juggles both the function and meaning of the materials, coaxing interplay between the two. Viewers may delight in the ingenuity of the constructed image, and delve into multiple layers of meaning.
His first profession was in advertising, but after moving to the United States in the late 1980s, Muniz began to make sculptures. Eventually, he found the medium of photography to be most satisfying because he could capture the ideal image of the sculptural objects and drawings he created. Photography became his tool for securing a particular point of view, while orchestrating the concept behind his constructions.
Working in a variety of scales—from the minute to the monumental –is also an essential component of his repertoire. Muniz describes his approach: “There are two narratives of scale that take place as we approach an image on a wall; one that is physical, that implies that something seen from a distance changes as you move towards it. Another has to do with the psycho-ergonomics of having to fine-tune our cognitive apparatus to adapt to the size of things in that picture. I have made large photographs of tiny things and tiny pictures of huge things.”
Vik Muniz wholly engages with the materials he arranges and transforms. The forgotten and discarded, the mundane and the marginalized, are transformed into poetic objects of beauty and contemplation.
Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art guest curated by Carla M. Hanzal, independent curator based in Charlotte, NC. Sincere thanks to the following for their assistance in realizing this exhibition:
Vik Muniz Studio – Erika Benincasa and Dillon DeWaters
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. – Meg Malloy
Fern and Lowell Kwiat
Meredith and Brother Rutter
Austin H. Rutter
Weatherspoon Art Museum, Nancy Doll, Elaine Gustafson, Xandra Eden, Heather Moore.
West Collection, Lee Stoetzel