Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz (born 1961) is a Brazilian born, New York based artist who experiments with media.


Vik Muniz made two detailed replicas of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa: one out of jelly and the other out of peanut butter. He has also worked in sugar, wire, thread, and Bosco Chocolate Syrup, out of which he produced a recreation of Leonardo's Last Supper. He has reinterpreted a number of Monet's paintings, including paintings of the cathedral at Rouen, which Muniz accomplished using small clumps of pigment sprinkled onto a flat surface. He made the images from the sugar at the plantation.

In his picture of Sigmund Freud, he uses chocolate to render the image. For his Sugar Children series, Muniz went to a sugar plantation in St. Kitts to photograph children of laborers who work there. After he returned to New York, he bought some black paper and several kinds of sugar, and copied the snapshots of the children by layering the different types of sugar on the paper and photographing it.

More recently he has been creating larger-scale works, such as pictures carved into the earth (geoglyphs) or made of huge piles of junk. For his "Pictures of Clouds" series, he had a skywriter draw cartoon outlines of clouds in the sky.

At Neiman Marcus’s 81st annual "Christmas Book" in 2007 buyers could commission one of Muniz’s "His & Hers" chocolate portraits for $110,000 and receive a 60-by-48-inch museum-quality photo of the work. Muniz donated the proceeds of the sales to the Centro Espacial Rio de Janeiro, a charity arts organization for poor children and teenagers in Brazil. “Poor people need money,” Muniz says, according to ARTINFO. “You need to help them directly. I don’t believe in political art. Raising awareness: You have the newspaper for that.”

Muniz has had solo exhibition at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida currently called "Vik Muniz: Reflex". This exhibition, organized by the Miami Art Museum, was on display at the Seattle Art Museumand the PS1 Contemporary Art Museum in New York. This exhibit is currently showing at the Musee d'Art Compemporain in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) until January 6, 2008. He has also published "Reflex - A Vik Muniz Primer" (2005: Aperture Foundation, New York) which contains a compilation of his work and his own commentary upon it.

His work has also been featured in "The Hours -Visual Art of Contemporary Latin America" (2007)- an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


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