Vik Muniz’s eclectic collection features unique perspectives on life through unconventional materials
From a peanut butter and jelly Mona Lisa to a glittering portrait of a woman in diamonds, Brazilian artist and photographer Vik Muniz’s work is both unconventional and striking through the unique window it provides into the everyday objects around us. This summer, the Museum of Art will welcome Muniz’s exhibition, titled “Extra-Ordinary,” to its galleries. Muniz, a São Paulo native, lives and works in New York City and Rio de Janeiro. His work frequently features unorthodox materials like peanut butter and jelly and diamonds, as well as sugar, spaghetti and trash. Using these unusual media allows him to explore familiar objects in fresh and new ways. Muniz’s work has been showcased in various solo exhibitions and is part of the permanent collections of respected institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art. At a first glance, patrons may giggle at the odd juxtaposition of peanut butter and jelly and the Mona Lisa. That reaction, according to museum curator Kenneth Hartvigsen, is an important part of experiencing Muniz’s art. “Seeing the Mona Lisa in peanut butter and jelly is inherently funny,” Hartvigsen said in an interview. “You see his work and oftentimes you smile or laugh about it.” But after the initial laughs, Hartvigsen hopes that the patrons will have a meaningful experience contemplating how these unusual images help us process the world around us. “I think there is something deeper that's going on in his work,” he said. “The longer we look and the more we consider what we're looking at, the more we're being invited to look at the world around us in a slightly different way.” This upcoming show is sure to please both families and ardent art lovers alike. From the fun and imaginative creations to the meaningful reflections on their connection to how we see the world, Muniz’s work will leave visitors with smiles on their faces and paradigm-shifting insights. The MOA worked with the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography to bring Muniz’s work to Provo as part of a traveling exhibition. Pieces in the collection presented at the MOA will include over 100 works from Muniz’s career. “Extra-Ordinary” will be on display in the Museum of Art this summer. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary exhibition!