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Untitled (Wolf)

Vik Muniz
Year: 2014
  • Decorative
  • Rock
  • Stone
  • Wood
Status: Decommissioned


The artwork imagery was transformed by nature over the course of one year as intended by the artist and the Biennale, and now it has come full circle with nature reclaiming the landscape. From July 21 to August 8, 2014, Vik Muniz and his team worked in Squamish with First Nations groups and the local community to create a grand-scale land mosaic that incorporated local natural materials and imagery into a portrait of a wolf so large that it could only be viewed from an elevated platform. Untitled (Wolf) was the Canadian debut for this renowned Brazilian artist.

Artist Statement

Conversations with Squamish Nation elders led me to choose the image of a wolf as the wolf represents collaboration and unity, values that I felt represented the community of Squamish and the process of the project itself. Hundreds of residents worked every night for three weeks to help make this mosaic a reality. As with my other mosaic projects, the image was projected on the ground from a tall scaffolding tower which guided me, my team, and local residents to create the artwork using natural materials that speak to the history of the lumber and stone-mining industries that are part of the region, and which are part of everyday life of the community.”

Land artist and photographer Vik Muniz is celebrated for creating finely-detailed mosaics from unconventional materials, including diamonds, soccer balls and junkyard rubbish. Muniz rocketed to international fame in 2010 with the release of Waste Land, the Oscar-nominated documentary chronicling his project at the famed Brazilian junkyard Jardim Gramacho. Working from photographs of the local garbage-pickers, Muniz reimagines their likenesses on a grand scale, using garbage like other artists use paint or clay. Muniz then photographed the works from high above. The resultant prints are Muniz’s end result. The living sculpture left behind fades back into the ecosystem from where it came.

Muniz was famously quoted as saying “Art is the  stuff of transformation,” and indeed the artist’s remarkable career has taken him from working class roots in Sao Paulo to the rarified upper  echelons of the international Contemporary art world. Muniz’s work has been exhibited at such institutions as the Grand Palais in Paris, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.  His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Foundation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, among others.  Born in Sao Paulo in 1961, Muniz lives and works in New York City and Rio Janeiro.

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