Vik Muniz, ‘Outlet’ (‘Pictures of Earthwork’) (2005) Gelatin Silver Print
Tokyo Art Beat: “Vik Muniz has made a career out of his inventive use of materials, everything from chocolate sauce to peanut butter. This show at Tokyo Wonder Site, Shibuya, comes off the back of the big Brazilian show “Neotropicalia” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and runs alongside the Muniz-curated show “Haptic”, at Tokyo Wonder Site, Hongo, and Misako and Rosen Gallery’s small showcase of Brazilian contemporary sculpture. It is a small but adequate introduction to some of his projects.
The subject matter for the ‘Pictures of Garbage’ is the downtrodden underbelly of Brazil, the poor class of catadores ‘dwelling’ in massive garbage dumps. Shaping these people into classical figures like Atlas or seemingly quasi-versions of real paintings not only gives resonant visualization to them, but by representing them in the very ‘material’ of their surroundings Muniz is arguably not simply exercising a political polemic but radically developing the often merely superficial dimensions of Pop Art.”