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. 
 Illusions as bad as mine make people aware of the fallacies of visual information and the pleasure to be derived from such fallacies. 
 Whenever I am tired of making photographs of drawings, I make drawings of photographs. 
 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 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. 
 Art objects are inanimate sad bits of matter hanging in the dark when no one is looking. The artist only does half the work; the viewer has to come up with the rest, and it is by empowering the viewer that the miracle of art gains its force. 
 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. 
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