Vik Muniz - The Collection of Lewis Kaplan London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Xippas, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    Muniz works from the premise that art and popular culture strive to create the illusion of reality, whether of glamour, coherence or physical space, through suspension of disbelief. With gleeful perversity, he flings a monkey wrench into the gears of that verisimilitude, setting out to create, in his words, the worst possible illusion.
    He begins by using unexpected materials to re-create familiar, iconic images from art history and popular culture – paintings by Monet, Goya and Warhol, well-known photographs from Life magazine, images of film actors and characters. He then documents his re-creations in crisp, vibrant photographs.
    In the series Pictures of Air, … he blows up his photographs of air until a constellation of tiny water droplets becomes visible, each one unique (though presumably in a random, rather meaningless way) to its location. In Pictures of Pigment, he creates oil paintings without the oil; instead of a smooth surface, re-creations of Monet’s pastel cathedrals using only the powdered pigment present a rocky and sandy expanse of color.
    Monet surfaces again in another series, Pictures of Magazines, for which Muniz painstakingly recreates “Water Lilies” with holes punched from magazine pages. In the resulting, enlarged photograph, the tiny circular holes are blown up until the even smaller Benday dots of ink printed on them create a visible pattern. At once a specific play on pointillism and a broader reference to the unconscious visual labor of distilling a single image from many discrete parts, the picture is nonetheless gettable in a second. Like most of Muniz’s images, you’ll recognize them right away, then spend a while thinking about what makes them different from the ordinary way of seeing.
    Megan Voeller, Childish Things, 5 July 2006


Waterlilies, after Claude Monet (Pictures of Magazines, Still-life)

Colour coupler print, flush-mounted to aluminium.
185.4 x 180.3 cm (73 x 71 in).
Signed and dated in ink, printed title, date and number 4/4 AP on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

£12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for £22,500

The Collection of Lewis Kaplan

29 June 2008, 3pm