Vik Muniz: Reflex

Feb 11–May 7, 2007


P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present a survey of photographic works by Vik Muniz. This show 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. Vik Muniz: Reflex is on view in the Second Floor Kunsthalle from February 11 through May 7, 2007.

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.

Vik Muniz (b. 1961, São Paulo, Brazil) has exhibited internationally since 1989. He has had solo shows at the International Center of Photography and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Menil Collection, Houston; Meseu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Meseu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; and the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rome, among others. In 2001, Muniz was the Brazilian representative at the 49th Venice Biennale.

Vik Muniz: Reflex premiered at Miami Art Museum from February 10 through May 28, 2006. It has since traveled to University of South Florida, Seattle Art Museum, and will continue on to Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and Musee d'art contemporain de Montréal.

The exhibition is accompanied by 204-page book, Reflex: A Vik Muniz Primer, published by the Aperture Foundation. The book, authored by Muniz and richly illustrated not only with his own works, but with works from the history of art and photography and scientific diagrams dealing with everything from perception theory to printing processes, is a remarkable investigation into the interlinked practices of seeing, representing, and creating.

Vik Muniz: Reflex was organized by Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida, with support from Miami Art Museum's Annual Exhibition Fund. Additional support provided by Duggal Visual Solutions. The exhibition at P.S.1 is made possible by Gerrit and Sydie Lansing, Peter Marino, The West Collection, Peter Josten and Sam Trower, Jean-Edouard van Praet, and supporters of the P.S.1 Annual Exhibition Fund.


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].