Artist: Vik Muniz (Brazilian, born Sao Paulo, 1961)

Date: 1998

Medium: Silver dye bleach print

Dimensions: Frame: 152.4 × 127 cm (60 × 50 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.200

Rights and Reproduction: © Vicente Muniz


This tour de force of drawing, photographed and enlarged to human scale, is a delicious send-up of Abstract Expressionism and a witty demonstration of the mind's irrepressible quest for order in chaos. From the hours he spent drawing everything from geometric solids to the nude in a traditional São Paulo art school, Muniz retained a respect for craft and technique even as he took his skills as a draftsman to decidedly untraditional subjects and materials. In recent series, he has used photography to transform twisted and bent wire into delicate line drawings, skeins of thread into lush drypoints à la Corot and Daubigny, and wads of cotton into clouds with an uncanny resemblance to familiar objects. Here, Muniz, like a modern Arcimboldo, has deftly dripped and spattered Bosco in a high-contrast rendering of a generic photograph of fans at a sporting event. Tiny dabs of chocolate syrup become the faces of those who cheer or despair at the game unfolding before their eyes, but the true competition here is between surface and illusion, reality and representation.