Reflex is a selection from a larger exhibition organized by Miami Art Museum and curated by Assistant Director for Programs/ Senior Curator Peter Boswell. This presentation, which includes photographs from each of the artist’s major series, is edited by the artist, P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss, and Peter Boswell.
Since the mid 1990s, Muniz has been incorporating everyday objects into his photographic process to create witty, bold, and often deceiving images based on photojournalism and art history. The Brazilian-born, New York-based artist makes pictures from dirt, diamonds, sugar, wire, string, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, dust, ketchup, the circular paper remnants made by hole punches, junk, pigment, and other materials. Though Muniz’s images are often familiar – borrowing from popular culture and Old Master artists – it is quickly evident that they are not what they seem. Using an approach that the artist calls “the worst possible illusion,” the works are formed from materials gathered from everyday life, which Muniz arranges and photographs, rather than traditional artistic materials.
Included especially in the P.S.1 survey is Muniz’s recent “Weimar” series, a suite of black-and-white photographs that reference espionage, surveillance, and intelligence gathering. A body of work that will be shown for the first time in the U.S., it is a departure for the artist since it is not a composition of assembled objects, but rather images that are seemingly documentary.