Vik Muniz

‘‘Bacteria interact with each other at the microscopic level, communicating where and when they should search for food. In this series, strains of Paenibacillus and Salmonella, known to cause a variety of diseases such as food poisoning, typhoid fever, and bacteremia are allowed to grow and spread on dishes. The patterns emerge from an initial population of bacteria that swim outward through an Agar gel using their motorized tails, creating the equivalent of a microscopic traffic jam of bacteria.’’

Vik Muniz (Brazilian, b.1961 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a contemporary visual artist. After working briefly in advertising in São Paulo, Muniz moved to Brooklyn, NY where he began his career in the late 80s. Initially interested in sculpture, he gradually transitioned to drawing and photography. Muniz began re-creating iconic images from photojournalism and art history from unusual, often everyday materials into his photographic process. Among other materials, these have included chocolate, dust, diamonds, sugar, junk, pigment, ketchup, caviar, and wire. In the early 1990s, his Pictures of Chocolate and the series Sugar Children were some of the first works to garner the attention of critics and museum curators. In 1998, he participated in the 24th International Biennale in São Paulo, and in 2001, he represented Brazil at the 49th Biennale in Venice, Italy. His work has been exhibited and collected by prestigious institutions around the world including: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York; the Tate Modern in London; the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris; the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. His documentary Waste Land (2010) was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the Best World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives and works in New York and Rio de Janeiro.

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