Artist of the Week: Vik Muniz

Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based fine artist Vik Muniz has exhibited his work all over the world. Using unexpected materials to create portraits, landscapes and still lifes — which he then photographs — he delights in subverting a viewer’s expectations.

Medusa Marinara

As I was surfing around and looking at Muniz’s work I found a trailer for a movie that he was a part of called, Wasteland.

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

If you are a Netflix subscriber you can watch it instantly (or on DVD). To learn more visit the Wasteland website. Here is the trailer…


This sparked a connection for me to a vimeo clip that I recalled watching last year about children from Paraguay who play in an orchestra on instruments made from recycled materials. The cello piece that begins to play at 0:35 will run chills up and down your spine! To learn more visit the Landfill Harmonic website.

Landfill Harmonic

Landfill Harmonic- The world sends us garbage… We send back music. from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

2 responses to “Artist of the Week: Vik Muniz

  1. Pingback: Artist of the Week: Nathan Sawaya | artwitholiveri·

  2. Pingback: Vik Muniz, Arte e Comida | DasMarias·

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