Vik Muniz - Under the Influence New York Friday, September 23, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    How many artists spend their entire lives making visual objects and never pick up a book to study how the eye works? They never studied the physics of light to see how light behaves. They never bought a prism, and held it against the sun, or any of these really simple things. I’m a visual artist, not a conceptualist. I make things that deal primarily with the eyes. In that regard, I’m totally old-fashioned. –Vik Muniz

    (Vik Muniz in conversation with Mark Magill for “Bomb Magazine,” Issue 72, 2000, p. 33)

    In his series Pictures of Pigment, Vik Muniz offers some of the most captivating contemporary photographs in the realm of artistic appropriation today. From a distance, the images appear almost as an identical copy of the work in reference; however, upon closer inspection the skill and brilliance of the artist’s hand is revealed. Death and Life, after Gustav Klimt is an exemplary piece from this series. Muniz meticulously creates his composition by piling up luminous powered pigments on a flat surface, thereby revealing the compositional power of color. The pigment, in this case, further enhances and strengthens the themes and figures of Klimt’s iconic work of art. The tension between life and death and terror and ecstasy is further escalated by Muniz’s unique and exquisite layering of brightly colored pigments, not only giving the
    piece color but a rich texture as well.

    Muniz’s process of first creating a unique ephemeral work is just one layer of the artist’s methodology. Muniz then photographs these fleeting creations after the completion of the composition, forever solidifying their brilliance. Death and Life, after Gustav Klimt is a remarkable example of the ultimate end goal of this process. This piece shows the development and progression of the creation which reveals the very essence of Muniz’ practice.


Death and Life, after Gustav Klimt (Pictures of Pigment)

Chromogenic print.
72 x 90 in. (182.9 x 228.6 cm)
Signed and dated "Vik Muniz 2006" on a label affixed to the reverse of the backing board. This work is from an edition of six.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $98,500

Under the Influence

23 September 2011
New York