Vik Muniz: Surfaces

"Photography does not reveal the world as a whole, but a carefully edited version of it."   —Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz is known for investigating areas that confound assumptions of visual literacy, sleuthing in areas where epistemology meets image-making.

Many of Vik Muniz' previous series have employed an unexpected material (junk, garbage, chocolate, diamonds, pigments, cut and torn paper, etc.) to create an image culled from the annals of art history, then photographing the result. He uses the image to tell multiple stories — about the original artwork, about our perceptions, and about our layering of memory. He challenges the verity of an image and our ability to see a photograph less as a documentation of a moment and more as one version of the truth.

For this series, Muniz makes his own paintings, sometimes replicating from source works by artists including Otto Freundlich and Burle Marx. Photographing his painting, he then manipulates the resulting photograph — cutting and reassembling pieces, often re-photographing and repeating, creating something that hovers between painting and photography. Testing our perceptual limits, the "real" versus the "illusory" becomes a space of play for the viewer to decipher.

Vik talks about his work

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