It’s always impressive when an artist can take one form of established art and transform it just enough to create something new and exciting. Artist Vik Muniz, who we’ve seen turn junkyard scraps into classic masterpieces, is one such artistic magician. In his latest series titled Pictures of Magazines 2, the New York-based Brazilian artist strips down issues of magazines, newspapers, volumes of books, and varied pop culture media, using their shredded pages to serve as brushstrokes for his “paintings” that, once again, recreate classic works of art.
By tweaking a crucial element of famous 19th century paintings (essentially, what they’re made of), Muniz alters the meaning behind each work, drawing focus to its material makeup. In this case, the works are heavily populated with contemporary media filled with color visuals, faces, information, advertisements, and text. This assemblage of “stuff” is composed within the overall image of refined masterpieces by the likes of Van Gogh and Manet, leading to a discussion about pop culture and art history. Does modern media deface the late great works or simply redefine their value?
Pictures of Magazines 2 is currently showing at Xippas Gallery in Paris through July 28th.