“Pictures of Garbage”

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Vik Muniz, from series “Pictures of Garbage, 2010. Mixed media.

Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder – but I don’t think there is any denying the beauty of Vik Muniz’ images. In his award winning documentary, “Wasteland”  released just a few years ago,  Muniz returns to his homeland of Brazil with the idea to highlight the plight of the trash/recyclable sorters at the Jardim Gramacho, a massive dump & landfill site outside of Rio – and show the world how beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. Muniz used the “catadores” (trash pickers) to assist him in assembling the work & donated all the proceeds of the arts auction to those in the Jardim. By using these people as his sitters – he captures their spirit, their dignity, their sacrifice, & their sadness. Muniz reminds us that art has a purpose beyond being something pretty to look at; past being controversial. Art can venerate, it can provide hope & restore humanity. 

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