Vik Muniz: A Brief History of Art
“I always try to make things that have a relationship between the parts and the whole. The idea of a mosaic is quite interesting, because you have both image and material trying to fight one another. It is not something fluid like pencil and ink – they are pieces of things. That creates a tension between material and subject.” - Vik Muniz
Vik Muniz: A Brief History of Art brings together a broad selection of the artist’s most iconic and venerated works from the last two decades. The exhibition is spread over two venues: Ben Brown Fine Arts’ flagship London gallery at 12 Brook's Mews and Claridge's ArtSpace, 50 metres down the mews at the back of Claridge's Hotel.
Inspired by artists across centuries and artistic movements, from Sandro Botticelli and Francisco Goya to Van Gogh and Gerhard Richter, the exhibition features re-imaginings of famous masterpieces from the Early Renaissance through to the 21st century. Muniz uses a wide range of unconventional materials, including dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, toys, junk, scrap metal, dry pigment, vintage postcards and magazine shreds to recreate and reference iconic imagery. These material constructions are photographed, then either magnified or shrunken in scale, with the final work of art becoming a documentation of his conceptual and artistic processes. Reconstructing images that tap into the viewer’s subconscious visual repository, these works ask us to reconsider the familiar imagery in its altered form.