June 19 Art Minute: Vik Muniz, Chuck from the series Pictures of Color

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Chuck (From Pictures of Color)

Vik Muniz (American, born Brazil, born 1961), Chuck, from the series Pictures of Color. Color photograph, 2001. Museum Purchase, by exchange, 2004.85. Wolfe Gallery

There is exactly the point where creativity rubs with possibility that you get that heat, friction that enables you to make really amazing things.

What do you see when you look at Chuck? A photograph? A clever illusion created by color chips? The color chips themselves? Or all of the above? Vik Muniz likes to play with layers of visual perception, questioning the truth of the visual information photography communicates. “My work is made…to destabilize the viewer’s notion of what a photograph is.” Notice how the deliberately crinkled and bent chips simultaneously enhance the illusion and draw attention to how it was constructed.

The “pixilated” effect of this portrait of artist Chuck Close only resolves at a distance and refers to the pieces of color that make up a photograph or a digital image—in the same way that dabs of color make up a painting. In Chuck, the arrangement of color chips also resembles Chuck Close’s own method of painting with grids.

Related content: July 1 Art Minute: Chuck Close, Alex


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