Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception

Marlene Marlene
Vik Muniz, Marlene Dietrich (from Pictures of Diamonds), 2004, Art © Vik Muniz
February 7, 2015 – April 19, 2015

The Brazilian-born Muniz is known for the startling materials he uses in the production of his stunning images. By employing diverse materials such as toys, diamonds, garbage and magazine clippings, the artist creates tableaux, which are then photographed. Poetics of Perception includes elements of several of his renowned bodies of work, including Diamond Divas, Pictures of Chocolate, Pictures of Junk, Pictures of Color and more.

In 2001, Muniz was invited to represent Brazil in the Venice Biennale where he exhibited the Pictures of Color series. Utilizing thousands of Pantone color swatches, Muniz created the appearance of digitized images of known works of art, including Claude Monet’s famous 19th-century Haystack. Muniz likens the pixels in digital photography to Monet’s impressionist brushstrokes.

Using the same ideas and given access to thousands of diamonds, Muniz created dazzling portraits of Hollywood’s silver screen divas: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich. He tested the “degree of interference between the overkill glamour of the stars themselves and that of shiny rocks.” These mesmerizing portraits of some of the 20th century’s most celebrated actresses seem to cast a glittering, eternal afterimage.

His recreation of Paul Gauguin’s Still Life with Puppies, also on display in Poetics of Perception, recreates the strange perspective of the original, as the tabletop is turned on a vertical axis to reveal puppies dining amidst goblets and fruit. The images of the divas, as well as his photographs constructed from a confetti-like collage of magazine clippings, hint at Muniz’s interests in a variety of media, showcased in this latest traveling exhibition.

Exhibition Credits

Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception was organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach. The exhibition is guest curated by Carla Hanzal, independent curator based in Charlotte, NC and former Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Mint Museum. Lowe Art Museum exhibitions and programs are sponsored by Beaux Arts and the general membership. Additional support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Related Programs

Opening Reception
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, February 7

Mirco-exhibition: Vik Muniz from the Collection of Tony Podesta
February 7 - April 19

Art & Inclusion Teacher Workshop
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,Tuesday, February 17

LoweDown and gallery tour with exhibition curator Carla Hanzal
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.,Thursday, April 2

Waste Land screening
2 p.m., Sunday, April 12

Family Day featuring Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception
Noon to 3 p.m., April 19, 2015