Vik Muniz - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Realized in 2007, this stunning image presents us with the instantly recognizable likeness of pop culture icon Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) as originally shot by renowned photographer Richard Avedon (1923-2004). 

    Using this encounter between the photographer and the movie star, Vik Muniz recalibrates the image through a deeply psychological lens. By no means a static copy, the flatness of the medium is masterfully contrasted with the photo-realistic outline of the dispersed puzzle pieces. Through this dramatic juxtaposition, the nuanced complexity of Avedon’s oeuvre is dramatically accentuated as Muniz fragments the sitter like a scattered jigsaw. The work remains an impossible enigma – a compelling tribute to the golden age movie star’s contradictory and intersecting identities and a potent reminder of her publicly devasting and mysterious passing in 1962.

    • Provenance

      Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

    • Literature

      Capivara, Vik Muniz: Catalogue Raisonné, 1987-2015: Everything so Far, Vol. II, p. 729
      Capivara, Vik Muniz: Obra Completa, 1987-2009, p. 665


Marilyn Monroe, actress, NY City, May 6, 1957, after Avedon from Gordian Puzzles

Chromogenic print.
70 1/4 x 70 3/4 in. (178.4 x 179.7 cm)
Overall 74 3/4 x 75 1/4 in. (189.9 x 191.1 cm)

Signed, dated in ink, printed title, date and number AP 3/4 on a studio label affixed to the reverse of the mount. One from an edition of 6 plus 4 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $119,700

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 6 April 2022