Monday, September 12, 2011

Vik Muniz

Yes, it's garbage. But it's not just art made from trash. The garbage is specifically from one of the world's largest landfills, Jardim Gramacho, in Brazil, and the trash is made to depict those who work sorting and hauling Rio de Janeiro's trash. (A documentary, Waste Land, was made about the people's lives and the artwork's process.) The art is a photograph enlarged to gigantic scale and set on the floor of a warehouse, then covered in garbage and photographed from above.

I love that it's not just "using what is ugly to make something beautiful"--it's a population's actual trash used to show Gramacho's residents and sanitation employees, specifically with this piece, in a famous, traditionally, classically "beautiful" pose, yet surrounded, engulfed, drowning in others' waste. It's striking, intriguing commentary on art itself, people, and the serious problem of waste production.

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