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

 Whenever I am tired of making photographs of drawings, I make drawings of photographs. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 I have failed so much that I now stand on failure itself. It has become my work place and where I harvest my best ideas. 
 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. 
 I hate to say I’m a photographer, because I learned photography as I went along. But I also hate to say I’m a painter, a draftsman, even an artist. I think it’s good when you’re confused about what you are; it means you haven’t defined yourself as an artist yet. 
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