Vik Muniz
[Artist, b. 1961, Sao Paulo, Brazil, lives in New York.]

 My first reaction to finding Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in a book was, “Wow, what a great photograph!” I could not believe that someone had gone to so much trouble just to end up with a picture. 
 Now that photography is a digital medium, the ghost of painting is coming to haunt it: photography no longer retains a sense of truth. I think that's great, because it frees photography from factuality, the same way photography freed painting from factuality in the mid-nineteenth century. 
 Illusions as bad as mine make people aware of the fallacies of visual information and the pleasure to be derived from such fallacies. 
 If you find an idea without form, please let me know because I would love to take a picture of it. 
 Whenever I am tired of making photographs of drawings, I make drawings of photographs. 
 Perhaps the first photograph ever taken, Niépce’s view of the rooftops over Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, was a truly pure photograph. The second one he took, he was already comparing nature to the first photograph he had taken. 
 A lot of the time you keep looking for beauty, but it is already there. And if you look with a little bit more intention, you see it. 
 I photograph what I paint and I paint what I can photograph. You have to be Man Ray to make good art based on principles. 
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