For over two decades, artist Vik Muniz has meticulously arranged and photographed things to look like other things: portraits in dripped chocolate, monsters out of caviar, and “paintings” from warehouses full of junk. His latest works, on view at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery right now, take on photography WITH photography.
Each work is a photograph taken of an arrangement of hundreds of other photographs that represent a photograph… and they are huge. Below, find full images and “details” of four works in the show.
Muniz used found personal photographs, arranging them not only by “correct shade of grey” but by subject matter, connecting, and filling fragments of memories with more memories: notice the bicycles in the car, the beach images around the sunbather, or the cheesy “western portraits” filling the pony. Like our own photographs, each image triggers a hundred other memories.
And they are MASSIVE. The image of the baby (a self-portrait at age 2) is over 8 feet tall! To give you a better idea, I digitally inserted a ruler in a few of the detail shots for scale.
The back side of old photographs are also used. Words and dates add touches of “ballpoint blue” at graffiti tag scale.
See the works in person (as close as you can). I also recommend spending an entire afternoon clicking through the different years and series of work on Vik Muniz’s website to find photographs of string, puzzles, diamonds, dust (and the aforementioned materials above). It’s all amazing.
All images courtesy Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, New York.