Vik Muniz




Vik Muniz was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1961 to a small, working class family. Using the compensation he received from being accidently shot in the leg, Muniz bought a ticket to New York City to pursue becoming an artist. Initially, his work was primary sculpture until he became increasingly interested in photographic expression. Muniz works in a wide range of medium to construct his images, often employing trash and peanut butter and jelly, creating images that are anything but the norm. In 2008, he took his process to another level through a large scale project in Brazil. He began by photographing trash-pickers. Then he recreated the photographs in a larger scale, forming the images solely out of trash and in turn, creating a sense of the loss of the individual and the manifestation of something else. Muniz described the experience as an attempt to “step away from the realm of fine art,” wanting instead to “change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with everyday.” This same project was documented in Waste Land, a film aimed towards exposing the realities of urban poverty.