Vik Muniz, "Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds" and "White Brazilian Orchid after Martin Johnson Heade"

The nineteenth century has been – it’s not the first time my work fits in the context of these nineteenth century environments and I find that there is a great affinity between the reasons why the work is produced and where it ends up being shown. I always joke about, like, I have a nineteenth century mind, you know, at least I try to be in a constant state of amazement about the world – the visual world – that surrounds me, and I find that it’s exciting to look at the work that was done at that time, because it was just like people were for the first time discovering the world as an image, and that kind of feeling is something that I try to preserve when I’m making work. I think my involvement with the work of Heade comes of this sort of amazement, wonderment, you know, looking at nature. I grew up – although I am Brazilian, you know, and I partake on the subjectivity of his work, I didn’t grow up around hummingbirds and idyllic landscapes, and when I first encountered this work, it was like something that was at the same time foreign and familiar, and I feel that perhaps, you know, Martin Johnson Heade felt the same way when he came to South America and encountered these wondrous things that he didn’t have around him before.