New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Vic Muniz
Reviewer #1

The Brazilian/Brooklyn artist Vic Muniz continues to delight and amaze in this small show in the back of this ground floor Chelsea stalwart. One image dates back 12 years to his “pictures of soil” series, a stylized skull emerges from a ‘ground’ literally made from twigs, leaves and dirt. But the three newer pieces, from a series called ‘Pictures of Junk,’ are the show-stoppers. Based on skeleton images from classic anatomy textbooks, the huge (89 x 71 inch) prints at first appear to be only slightly skewed reproductions of the originals. As you move closer they reveal their true medium to be carefully placed collections of bottle caps, gears, chains and other assorted junk. Once again Muniz has transformed the mundane to the sublime. Then you begin to notice that some of the junk seems to be entirely out of scale, yes you can see the bolts lined up as phalanges, but is that an old stereo speaker?, an old plastic chair?. It begins to become clear that these are photographs that are not conventionally photographed from straight above. The photographs are taken from only a slightly elevated position at the base of the composition, Muniz has not only reproduced a classic image, he has re-imagined it from an entirely different perspective, and then entirely reconstructed it.

Muniz’s work has always been about the art of seeing, and once again he has provided a magical workout for the eye and brain.

Vic Muniz

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 W 22nd St.
Chelsea         Map

212 929 2262

Saturday, January 30 to
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6