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Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz

Brazilian, born 1961

Muniz was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1961. He received a scholarship to art school based on his drawings. At the age of 18, Muniz began working in advertising, helping to redesign billboards to make them more legible. On his way to a black-tie gala one evening, Muniz came across a street fight and tried to stop it. He was accidentally shot in the leg by one of the fighters, who paid him not press charges. Muniz used the money to travel to New York in 1983, where he borrowed studio space and began a career as a sculptor. He became increasingly engaged with photographic representations of his sculptures and eventually focused primarily on photography, though much of his subject matter is constructed in a sculptural way. Early series such as He often uses everyday materials and objects to create these compositions -- chocolate syrup, sugar, thread, and even garbage – and is known for incorporating wit, deception, and cultural references in his work. His photographs have been exhibited around the world and resides in many international collections. In 2010, Muniz was the subject of the documentary film “Waste Land,” which featured his work at Jardim Gramacho, one of the world’s largest garbage dumps. Muniz lives and works in New York City and Rio de Janeiro.