Tuesday, March 04, 2014

waste land- my favorite art flick

Back in college history unlocked something important in my spirit and became the source of my interest and drive to make art. And once in a while I like to share some art history in this space. I highlight an artist, an idea or a powerful moment in time that’s made an impact. My hope is to inspire you, my readers, and perhaps we can all meet some new, unexpected friends in the colorful chronicles of history.


I first heard of the artist and photographer Vic Muniz when I was in college studying art history. Vic Muniz is a world renowned artist from Brazil artist who incorporates all kinds of objects like thread, diamonds, sugar, chocolate syrup and trash into his work to create ironic and bold images pulled from culture and art history. His series "Sugar Children" (a series of drawings made from sugar of children of parents who worked on the sugar plantations of St. Kitts) was the subject for an essay question on one of my tests. Even as a young artist, I was inspired by the unconventional materials and unique perspective Muniz had.

Back in 2010 the documentary Waste Land was released. It the follows Muniz from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil into the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho. It is there that he photographs a group of catadores or garbage pickers. 


The catadores are a marginalized population who resort to picking valuable recyclable materials from the garbage thrown away by those in Brazil. Muniz's initial objective was to create portraits of the catadores from garbage but after meeting the amazing people who worked at the landfill, he decides to turn the project into a collaboration with the catadores themselves. 
























He photographs each of the pickers, gathers items from the dump and then working together they create large portraits made from trash on the floor of a warehouse. When the portraits are finished he photographs them, auctions them off and gives the money back to the catadores.






















I first watched Wasteland back in 2011 and not a day has gone by in the last 3 years I don't think about about this movie. From witnessing the amazing stories and spirits of the catadores to watching Muniz create beauty from trash to seeing a successful artist give back WITH HIS ART makes this movie one of the most profound, powerful, uplifting, heartbreaking, creative, innovative and layered stories I've had the honor to watch. If there is any movie I could recommend to fellow artist or creative- THIS IS THE ONE! 




Wasteland is out on DVD and also available to watch via Netflix

22 comments:

Cara Mengobati Sakit Tenggorokan Dengan cepat said...

I love the print on your pants, so ready for spring!

Cara Mengobati Sakit Tenggorokan Dengan cepat said...

I love the print on your pants, so ready for spring!

Jessie said...

Wow! The last picture showing the scale is so impressive! Thanks for sharing the movie I look forward to watching it.

girlunwinding said...

I saw this exhibit at The Frist in Nashville last year. The pieces were HUGE and it was amazing!!
Highly recommended.
~Dawn

Kelly Cort said...

I will watch this tonight.

Nicole H said...

I can't wait to watch this, thank you so much for sharing!

Jenn said...

So inspiring! I'll definitely look this movie up. It's so nice to see someone using their talents for good. Keep inspiring us Alisa!

Gayle Ortiz said...

Thank you Alisa. I just ordered the movie on Netflix!

studioGypsy said...

going to watch this movie next! thankyou. you are a true.love.xoxox

Tania said...

Wow! Can't wait to watch this with my 14 year old daughter. Thank you!

Linda Arandas said...

Wow, Alisa...I've never heard of this documentary, can't wait to order it. Thanks for taking the time to share such a powerful story. I am sure it will inspire and change many more lives through your recommendation and I am sure I will be one of them.

Ken and Dot said...

I need to watch this again! I just returned from Africa. Waste is such a big problem in Nigeria where I was. I sw people digging through the dumps there also, but really the whole country seems to be one big dump. It is amazing the things people are able to make and sell from items we would discard here in the US. My greatest concern is the use of plastics. Those light weight bags fly around everywhere and you see the animals trying to eat them.

Patricia Schwab said...

Hi Alisa, This sounds really interesting and I'm hoping to watch it. I was looking at photos of abandoned buildings by a photographer and I had to bookmark for another day because it made me feel sad to see so much waste. There were things in some of the photos that people could of used or beautiful windows and other parts of buildings just rotting away. When I drive by some of the empty real estate in my area and then I see something new going up it makes me mad. Lets stop being so wasteful and renovate and use these empty sites instead of tearing down more woods etc. To build shinier new buildings

Thea Thijssen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thea Thijssen said...

Hello Alisa,

I saw the documentary a few months ago.
Wonderful

Jill said...

Thank you for the recommendation. This intrigues me.

astr!d said...

i saw that documentary a while ago and i also fell in love with it. the concept, the beautiful people, and the constant struggle they face everyday.

Jo Murray said...

That's such an inspiring, and uplifting story....and GREAT images.

Jenna Francisco said...

I had the fortune to visit one of his exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and was astounded by the power of his work! In fact, at that time, I didn't even know who he was. Another great movie in a related vein is Exit through the Gift Shop. I haven't seen Wasteland. Thanks for the recommendation!

syed ali said...

Make your own home based business without any work, Just Invest some Money into your Business and Make Perfect Life time Earnings with this Business.
Invest as low as 1$ and Get 2.5% Daily profit for 90 Days, Join Now
HotFxEarnings.com

Artes da Cris said...

Yes, this fellow brazilian is an amazing artist/person!
Thanks to talk about It!
Ana from Brasil

Sherry said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I watched the movie a few years ago and loved it but couldn't remember the name. I have thought about it often and now I can share it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails