Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing presents a comprehensive look into the work of this Brazilian-born, New York-based artist. Described as “conceptually rigorous” (New York Times) and ”lyrically beautiful” (Artforum), Muniz’s photographs test the traditional understanding that photography is a factual representation of reality. Muniz transforms nonconventional materials (dirt, chocolate syrup, sugar, wire, thread, and peanut butter) into what he calls “photographic delusions” — images that initially appear familiar, but on closer examination reveal the unusual nature of their material and creation. “What really fascinates me about the photographic process,” Muniz notes, “is that it endorses the existence of things.” A chocolate puddle with the likeness of Freud, for example, becomes part of the same history as its notable subject.
Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing brings together work that represents a lively hybrid of artistic technique, intellectual rigor, and youthful curiosity. In addition to its run at the ICP and Tang Museum, the exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago; Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans.