On the 6th of October 2016, Vik Muniz's first solo exhibition opens for London public. The title Metachrome refers to the artist's celebration of colour in the history of painting. The space chosen to represent his work is Ben Brown Fine Arts gallery in Mayfair.
Vik Muniz is a Brazilian artist and photographer, working in New York and Rio de Janeiro. His works have been shown in the world's best museums, including MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim New York, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, and others.
Muniz's aesthetic is built around a range of unusual artistic materials. The artist uses sand, pigment powder, sugar, dust, diamonds, chocolate, paper shreds and toys to make his large-scale prints. With these, he recreates artworks associated with and inspired by the most acclaimed painters of the 19th and 20th centuries and photographs the result. Apart from the general title, each work has a subtitle stating which artist's work served as an inspiration for it (e.g. Still Life with Begonias, after Paul Cézanne). In Metachrome you can find Muniz's tribute to artists such as William Turner, Piet Mondrian, Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko.
Still, the overall impression of the exhibition is not too familiar. The artist does not just simply recreates famous paintings but reimagines the best examples in the history of art through the use of alternative materials. Muniz tricks his audience into seeing things that are not there. For example, pieces of colourful chalk begin to look like an impressionist view of nature, or, a canvas filled with bright pigment reminds of a deserted landscape. Incorporating the vivid colours in his work, the artist attempts to draw our attention to the imperfections of different materials, as well as the limitations of photographic images, which problematises contemporary art on a completely different level.