Co-organized by the High and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Vik Muniz examines the artist’s career and features more than 120 photographs, including many of Muniz’s most recent works. The exhibition will travel internationally following its presentation at the High.
Muniz (born 1961, São Paulo, Brazil) is renowned for creating what he calls “photographic delusions,” Muniz works with a dizzying array of unconventional materials—including sugar, tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust and junk—to painstakingly design narrative subjects before recording them with his camera. His resulting photographs often quote iconic images from popular culture and the history of art while defying easy classification and playfully engaging a viewer’s process of perception. His more recent work utilizes electron microscopes and manipulates microorganisms to unveil both the familiar and the strange in spaces that are typically inaccessible to the human eye.
Other featured recent work includes prints from Muniz’s “Colonies” series, for which the artist collaborated with MIT scientists to employ microorganisms, including bacteria and even cancer cells, to multiply in choreographed designs. In these photographs, Muniz morphs the frightening into the beautiful, producing striking, intricate patterns from materials with largely negative connotations. The “Colonies” photographs also follow Muniz’s affinity for bringing attention to social issues though his work—in this case, the importance of medical research and vaccination.
High Museum of Art Website