As a proponent of place-based education, and lover of community mapping through art, I have been drooling over the new book release, The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography. In this book, I came across this work by Vik Muniz that has excited me and caused me to research him further.
WWW, 2008 (WWW is a photograph of an installation work made of electronics and computer parts.)
Vik Muniz is from a working class family in San Paulo, Brazil and calls himself, “a Hugo Chavez of the art world,” going on to say, “I want to make populist art that anyone had access to…if I knew how dogs look at things, I would make art for them, too.” He uses everyday objects, such as sugar, diamonds, chocolate syrup, and thread, to create massive scale installations that represent people or places that he then photographs.
Muniz has said that many people are “numb to representation” and his work is inviting people to look beyond what his pictures depict and focus on the acts of making and viewing art. His work and objects connect to the places in which they were made or places they reflect on, such as the Sugar Children series, that consists of sugar portraits of children of Caribbean plantation workers. Muniz has also created the Centro Espacial center in Rio for the art education of the shantytown youth, whom which he enlisted help in creating his large-scale Pictures of Garbage series.
I plan to create some lessons based on the work of Muniz and teach them in my fieldwork sites, so expect some follow-up posts to come!