Vik Muniz

- Selected Works
- Biography

Vik Muniz, Vicente Jose Muniz (born 1961, São Paulo, Brazil) is a visual artist living in New York City.

Muniz began his career as a sculptor in the late 1980s after relocating from Brazil to Chicago and later to New York. His early work grew out of a post-Fluxus aesthetic and often involved visual puns and jokes. His most famous work from this period is “Clown Skull”, a human skull augmented with a clown-nose shaped protuberance.

Muniz’s work begins to take on its mature form with The Best of Life (1990) where he drew pictures of photographs included in the coffee table book “The Best of Life” from memory after losing the book in a move. The drawings were subsequently photographed and shown as photographs, a practice that Muniz continues.

Muniz followed “The Best of Life” with Equivalents (1993), Pictures of Wire (1994), and Pictures of Thread (1995) in which he developed the other aspect of his characteristic style by making the drawings out of readily recognizable non-art materials (i.e. cotton, wire, or thread). This process of making a drawing out of a nontraditional material and then photographing it has been central to Muniz’s work ever since. In 1996 he made “Sugar Children” for which he received critical acclaim. The New York Times reviewed the show and Muniz was invited to participate in the 1997-1998 New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Muniz became best known for his 1997 series Pictures of Chocolate and 2006’s Pictures of Junk but he has worked in many materials (dust, caviar, diamonds, paper, earthworks and pigment to name a few) and has exhibited his work in major museums and galleries around the world.

In 2010, the documentary film Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, featured Muniz’s work with a group of catadores—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials—on one of the world’s largest garbage dumps, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The film was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 83rd Academy Awards.

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- Exhibitions
  • 2017

    Vik Muniz - Handmade - Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid
    Vik Muniz: Handmade - Rena Bransten Projects, San Francisco, CA
    Vik Muniz - Epistemes - Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NY
    Vik Muniz - Metachromes - Ben Brown Fine Arts - Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  • 2016

    Vik Muniz - Metachromes - Ben Brown Fine Arts, London
    Vik Muniz - Handmade - Galeria Nara Roesler - Sao Paulo, São Paulo
    Vik Muniz Dans La Collection De Géraldine Et Lorenz Bäumer - Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
    Vik Muniz - Matthew Liu Fine Arts, Shanghai
    Vik Muniz - The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
    Vik Muniz - Pictures of America - Galerie Xippas Switzerland, Geneva

  • 2015

    Vik Muniz: Album. Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong, China, January 16th – March 4th
    Vik Muniz: Album. Xippas Gallery, Paris, France. June 6th – July 31st
    Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perceptions. Lowe Art Museum, Miami. February 7th – April 19th,
    Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perceptions. Taubman Museum of Art, VA. June 13-September 12, 2015.
    Vik Muniz: Mas Acá de la Imagen. Museo de La Universidad Tres de Febrero- Buenos Aires, Argentina. May 21, 2015
    Vik Muniz: Pictures of Anything -Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint Etienne Metropole. November 2015

  • 2014

    Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception. Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, Virginia. January 31st – April 14th, 2014.
    Vik Muniz: Mas Acá de la Imagen. Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC). Lima, Peru. January 23rd – April 13th, 2014.
    Vik Muniz. Sikkema Jenkins, New York, New York. April 10th – May 10th, 2014.
    Vik Muniz: Pictures of Anything. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel. March 27th – July 21st, 2014.
    Vik Muniz: Mas Acá de la Imagen. The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito. May 24th – July 31st, 2014
    Vik Muniz: The Size of the World. Santander Cultura Brasil. May 21 to August 10, 2014
    Vik Muniz: Album. Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie, Arles, France
    Vik Muniz: Pictures of Anything. Long Museum, Shanghai, China, September 21 – November 1, 2014
    Vik Muniz: Mas Acá de la Imagen. Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro, September 10 – October 11, 2014
    Vik Muniz: Small. Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo October 24th – November 29, 2014

  • 2013

    Vik Muniz. Clayton Days | Revisited: A Project by Vik
    Muniz. The Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. July 13 – October 27.
    Vik Muniz. Museo Banco de la República. Bogatá, Colombia. July 31 – October 28.
    Vik Muniz. Nara Roesler Gallery. São Paulo, Brazil. April 2 – May 5.

  • 2012

    Vik Muniz. VERSO. St. Moritz Art Masters 2012. Protestant Church, St. Moritz, Switzerland. August 24 – September 2.
    Vik Muniz. Ben Brown Fine Arts. Hong Kong, China. November 21 – February 22, 2013.
    Vik Muniz. Elba Benitez Gallery, Madrid, Spain. November 15 -January 16, 2013.
    Vik Muniz – Pictures of Magazine 2. Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, September 20 – November 10.
    VIK. Centro de Arte Contemporánea de Málaga, Málaga, Spain, September 7 – December 2. (traveling exhibition)
    VantagePoint X/Vik Muniz. Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte, North Carolina. August 25 – April 28, 2013.
    Vik Muniz – Pictures of Magazine 2. Xippas Gallery, Paris. France. June 9 – July 28.

  • 2011

    Vik Muniz. Le Musé Imaginaire. Collection Lambert en Avignon, Hôtel de Caumont & Église des Célestins, Avignon, France. December 11 – June 15, 2012.
    Vik Muniz. Matrici italiane. 1º Festival di Cultura Brasiliana, Galleria Cortona, Palazzo Pamphilj, Rome, Italy. November 25 – December 16.
    VIK. Museu Colecção Berardo. Lisbon, Portugal. September 21 – December 31. (traveling exhibition)
    Vik Muniz. Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. September 9 – October 15.
    Vik Muniz 3D. Espaço Cultural Contemporâneo – ECCO, Brasília, Brazil. June 13 – August 21.
    Relicário. Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil. March 1 – April 24.
    Vik Muniz.Beyond the Boundary between Celebrated Painting and Photo. Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea. February 11 – March 13.
    Vik Muniz. Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan. October 22 – November 20.
    Relicário. Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. October 13 – December 5.
    Vik Muniz. Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California. September 9 – October 23.
    Verso. Galeria Fortes Vilaça. São Paulo, Brazil. July 29 – September 11.
    Vik Muniz. Museum of the University of Fortaleza/Unifor, Fundação Edson Queiroz, Ceará, Brazil. April 16 – August 8.
    Leonard Drew and Vik Muniz. Sikkema Jenkins and Co. New York, NY. January 30 – March 6.

  • 2010

    Vik Muniz. Xippas Arte Contemporaneo, Montevideo, Uruguay. December 15 – April 5,

  • 2009

    Vik Muniz. Galerie Xippas, Paris, France. December 12, 2009 – February 13, 2010.
    Vik Muniz: The 8th Photo Festival, Gana Art Center, Korea. August 6 – 31.
    Vik Muniz. Museu Inimá de Paula. Minas Gerais, Brazil. August 21 – November 2.
    Identity V. Curated by Hiroshi Minamishima. Nichido Contemporary Art. Tokyo, Japan. June 26 – July 25.
    Vik Muniz. Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid, Spain. June 2 – July 31.
    Vik. Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). São Paulo, Brazil. April 25 – July 19.
    Nus/Nudes. Galeria Fortes Vilaça. São Paulo, Brazil. February 17 – April 4.
    Vik Muniz. Museum of Modern Art (MAM). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. January 28 – March 22.
    Vik Muniz. Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. November 20 – March 10, 2010.

  • 2008

    Vik Muniz. Arndt & Partner. Berlin, Germany. October 29 – December 20.
    Vik Muniz: The Beautiful Earth. Tokyo Wonder Site. Tokyo, Japan. November 22 – March 1.
    Vik Muniz. Rena Bransten Gallery. San Francisco, CA. October 16 – November 22.
    Vik Muniz: verso. Sikkema, Jenkins & Co. New York, NY. September 7 – October 11.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso. Mexico City, Mexico. March 11 – July 13.
    This is Vik Muniz. CB Collection Roppongi. Tokyo, Japan. January 19 – April 19.

  • 2007

    Vik Muniz. Moscow House of Photography. Manezh, Russia. November 1 – December 2.
    To Russia With Love. Gary Tatintsian Gallery. Moscow, Russia. October 31 – December 30.
    A Terra e a Gente. Museu da Eletricidad. Lisbon, Portugal. October 17 – 16.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. Museum of Contemporary Art. Montréal, Quebec, Canada. October 4, 2007 – January 6, 2008.
    Muniz Remastered, Photographs from the West Collection. Museo de Las Americas, Denver, CO. October 4-January 20, 2008.
    The Beautiful Earth. Fortes Vilaça Gallery. São Paulo, Brazil. August 4 – September 27.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. Museum of Contemporary Art. San Diego, California. June 2 – September 9.
    The Beautiful Earth. Paço das Artes. São Paulo, Brazil. August 1 – October 7.
    Imaginary Prisons, G. B. Piranesi and Vik Muniz. National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, Australia. April 19 – September 30.
    Vik Muniz: A Survey. Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Kiev, Ukraine. April 13 – May 20.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. P.S. 1. MoMA. Long Island City, NY. February 11 – May 7.
    Pictures of People. Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Gateshead, UK. January 31-April 15.
    Vik Muniz: Remastered Selections from the West Collection. Gadsden Arts Center. Quincy, Florida. July 9 – September 3.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. Contemporary Art Museum. University of South Florida. Tampa, Florida. July 7 – October 7.
    Pictures of Pigment. Xippas Gallery. Paris, France. June 10 – 29.
    Vik Muniz. Nassau County Museum of Art. New York, NY. February 19 – May 14.
    Vik Muniz Reflex. Miami Art Museum. Miami, Florida. February 10 – May 28.
    Best of Vik Muniz. La Reserve. Pacy-sur-Eure, France. February 1 – July 31.
    BulFinch’s Recycling Yard: Vik Muniz Pictures of Junk. Rena Bransten Gallery. San Francisco, California. April 13 – May 27.
    Vik Muniz – Pictures of Junk, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. New York, NY. September 9 – October 14.

  • 2006

    Vik Muniz Reflex. Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Washington. November 10 – January 14

  • 2005

    Vik Muniz in the Italian Collections. Ersel in collaboration with Gian Enzo Sperone. Turin, Italy. November 29 – February 26, 2006.
    Vik Muniz. Koyanagi Gallery. Tokyo, Japan. October 14 – November 14.
    Vik Muniz. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Philadelphia, PA. September 17 – November 20.
    Vik Muniz. Cardi Gallery. Milan, Italy. April 7 – May 28.
    Vik Muniz: Divas & Monsters. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. São Paulo, Brazil. March 5 – April 24.
    Robert Mapplethorpe. Curated by Vik Muniz. Fortes Vilaça Gallery. São Paulo, Brazil. March 4 – April 9.

  • 2004

    Vik Muniz: Diamond Divas and Caviar Monsters. Fundación Telefónica. Madrid, Spain. November 17 – January 9, 2005.
    Vik Muniz. Gallery Xippas. Athenas, Greece. October 12 – November 15.
    Vik Muniz. Gallery Xippas. Paris, France. September 11 – October 23.
    Retratos de Revista. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. São Paulo, Brazil. January 24-March 28.
    Vik Muniz. Espaço Cultural Contemporâneo Venâncio-ECCO. Brasília, Brazil. June 8 – July 7.
    Piranesi Prisons. National Academy of Sciences. Washington D.C. August 1 – May 1,

  • 2005

    Vik Muniz. Brent Sikkema, New York, NY. May 7 – June 5.
    Vik Muniz. Irish Museum of Contemporary Art. Dublin, Ireland. March 31 – June 13.
    Vik Muniz. Gallery Elba Benítez. Madrid, Spain. February 14 – March 31.
    Vik Muniz – Rebus. Rena Bransten Gallery. San Francisco, California. April 1 – May 1.

  • 2003

    Vik Muniz. Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea-CGAC. Santiago de Compostela, Spain. December 18 – April 6, 2004.
    Vik Muniz. Gallery Gan. Tokyo, Japan. November 28-December 28.
    Vik Muniz. Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma-MACRO. Rome, Italy. September 27-
    January 6, 2004.
    Monadic Works and Drawings. Galeria Fortes Vilaça. São Paulo, Brazil. August 13 – September 13.
    Retratos de Revista. Paço Imperial. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. August14 – September14.
    Vik Muniz. Curated by Miguel Fernandez-Cid. Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. Indianapolis, IN. February – March.
    La Mirada – Looking at Photography in Latin America Today part II. Daros Latin America Collection at Daros Exhibitions. Zürich, Switzerland. January 17 – March 29.

  • 2002

    Candy Bam, special project for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Public Art Fund. Brooklyn, NY. 2002 – 2003.
    La Mirada – Looking at Photography in Latin America Today part I. Daros Latin America Collection at Daros
    Exhibitions. Zürich, Switzerland. October 25 – January 4, 2003.
    Vik Muniz. Cardi Gallery. Milan, Italy. October 10 – November 23.
    Pictures of Air. Sperone Gallery. Rome, Italy. October 16 – December 15.
    Vik Muniz. Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Centro Dragão do Mar. Ceará, Brazil.
    Vik Muniz. Doug Lawing Gallery. Houston, TX. May 3-June 4.
    Vik Muniz – Pictures of Color. Rena Bransten Gallery. San Francisco, California. May 2 – June 8.
    Michael Hue Williams Fine Art. London. April 15 – May 18.
    Barbara Krakow, Boston. April 27.
    Laberints, Spai 13, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Spain. June 21 – July 28.
    Earthworks, Brent Sikkema Gallery, New York, NY. February – March.
    Vik Muniz: Model Pictures, The Menil Collection, Houston. February 22 – June 9.
    Reparte, CU Art Galleries, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. January 17 – March 23

  • 2001

    Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil.
    Vik Muniz – Homenagem ao Centenário de J.K. Museu da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
    Museu de Arte Moderna Aloisio Magalhães, Recife, Brazil.
    Erotica, Xippas Gallery, Paris, France.
    49th Venice Biennial: Brazilian Representation, Venice, Italy.
    49th Venice Biennial: Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy.
    Henry Art Gallery- University of Washington, Seattle.
    Vik Muniz. Gallery Gan, Tokyo, Japan. August 27 –September 29.
    Vik Muniz. Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Clayton Days. Espaço Cine, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA.
    MAM – Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil.
    MAM – Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    The Things Themselves: Pictures of Dust by Vik Muniz. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
    Reparte, Atlanta College of Art Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia.
    Galeria Elba Benítez, Madrid, Spain.
    The Things Themselves: Pictures of Dust. Michael-Hue Williams Fine Art, London, UK

  • 2000

    Double Vision: Photographs from the Strauss Collection. University Art Museum-CSU. Long Beach, California. January 11 – March 11, 2001.
    Clayton Days. The Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. September 8-October 29.
    Musée de l’Elysée Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Pictures of Ink. Brent Sikkema Gallery, New York, NY.
    Photographs & Personal Articles. Ubu Gallery, New York, NY.
    Gallery Gan, Tokyo, Japan.
    Foundation Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Vik Muniz. Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY.
    The Invisible Object. Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Earthworks. Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California.
    Vik Muniz. Sala de Exposiciones. Pátio de Escuelas. Centro de Fotografía. Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. January 19 – February 27.

  • 1999

    Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing. Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona. June 26 – September 26.
    Galeri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Gian Enzo Sperone Gallery, Rome, Italy.
    Photo & Co., Turin, Italy.
    Vik Muniz. Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France. November 17 – January 10, 2000.
    Flora Industrialis. Caisse des Dépôts et Cossignations, Paris, France. November 19 -December 23.
    After Warhol. Renos Xippas Gallery, Paris, France. November 20 – January 15, 2000.
    The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect, MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. March 14 – June 1.
    The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.
    Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois.

  • 1998

    Galeria Módulo, Lisbon, Portugal.
    Seeing is Believing. International Center of Photography, New York, NY.
    Flora Industrialis. Brent Sikkema Gallery, New York, NY.
    Pictures of Chocolate. Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California. April 2 – May 9.

  • 1997

    Pictures of Thread. Wooster Gardens, New York, NY.
    Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Vik Muniz. Dan Bernier Gallery, Santa Monica, California. February 28 – April 6.

  • 1996

    The Sugar Children. Tricia Collins Contemporary Art, New York, NY.
    Galeria Casa da Imagem, Curitiba, Brazil.
    The Best of Life. Wooster Gardens, New York, NY.
    Pantomimes. Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California.

  • 1995

    The Wire Pictures. Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.

  • 1995

    The Wire Pictures. Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.

  • 1994

    Representations. Wooster Gardens, New York, NY.

  • 1993

    Equivalents. The Grand Salon, New York, NY.
    Equivalents. Ponte Pietra Gallery, Verona, Italy.

  • 1992

    Individuals. Stux Gallery, New York, NY.
    Home Alone. Claudio Botello Arte, Turin, Italy. April – May.

  • 1991

    Gabinete de Arte Rachel Arnaud, São Paulo, Brazil.
    Vik Muniz. Galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris, France. October 26 – November 30

  • 1990

    Meyers/Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, California.
    Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, California.
    Stuttering. Stux Gallery, New York, NY.

  • 1989

    Vik Muniz – Photographs. Stux Gallery, New York, NY

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