Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Art
© Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Vik Muniz, born in Sao Paulo in 1961, has arguably become the most famous contemporary Brazilian artist. His conceptual photographs are exhibited internationally, and he is represented in significant museum collections throughout the world. Muniz’s recreations of famous paintings are notable for their uncanny attention to detail and the non-traditional nature of the media he chooses. Even more impressive is his creative process. For the Pictures of Junk series, Muniz painstakingly gathers discarded objects such as tires, bolts, coils of wire, broken appliances, and soda cans, arranging them on a warehouse floor in piles and layers to create representations of iconic paintings by historical artists. After this labor-intensive process is complete, Muniz photographs the massive creation from a balcony above, thereby preserving the final appearance before the image is disassembled.
The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli (Pictures of Junk), 2008, is included in The Mint Museum’s VantagePoint X: Vik Muniz exhibition, on view 25 August 2012 – 24 February 2013. This monumental triptych photograph, exemplary of Muniz’s style and methodology, would be a most welcome addition to the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection, and its burgeoning photography collection.