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Vik Muniz

American, born Brazil, 1961

Art © 2008 Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Verso (Nighthawks), 2008

Mixed media, edition 1/3
44 1/8 x 70 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches (112 x 178.7 x 5. 2 cm) with blocks
Charles W. Goodyear Fund, by exchange and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, 2009

An intellectual trickster engaged in appropriation and institutional critique, Vik Muniz creates photographs, objects, and scenarios that replicate images from art history and popular culture using nontraditional, often humorous materials and methodologies. Muniz is interested in how people consume images, and he plays with this notion endlessly, manipulating iconic images while consistently revealing the artifice of his ways.

While he most frequently works in photography, his work Verso (Nighthawks), 2008, is a three-dimensional object that replicates the back of Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks, 1942. This work is part of a series, created over the course of six years, when Muniz visited the storage facilities of major museums to view and create exact replicas of the backs of famous paintings.

Installed on the floor as if it has just emerged from storage and is waiting to be hung, Muniz’s work jolts viewers out of their traditional viewing experience into a place of uncertainty and enjoyment.

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