Vik Muniz – Van Gogh in dahlia’s

Vik Muniz – Van Gogh in dahlia’s
14 July, 2018 Ron Dirven

The Brazilian artist/photographer Vik Muniz comes to Zundert at the end of August 2018 for the creation of an enormous artwork after Van Gogh. His team, together with the help of a team of volunteers of the Van GoghHuis and the flower parade, will construct a tableau made of dahlias of more than 100 m² in the garden of the Van GoghHuis, inspired on Van Gogh’s last painting of a pair of shoes. The tableau will be made preceding the annual flower parade and will be on view from 1st until 16th September 2018.

In order to realize this project, a special projection tower with a height of thirteen meters is built in the Van Gogh garden, from which Van Gogh’s painting will be projected onto the ground. Muniz’s team will mainly work at night in order to transfer this image to a floor of more than 100 m². Thereupon, the image will be filled in with dahlias. They will be assisted by the Van GoghHuis volunteer group and volunteers of the flower parade. The dahlia tableau will be on view to the public during the first two weeks of September 2018 from a platform on top of the tower. Finally, Vik Muniz will photograph his work from above. These photographs are the lasting results of this project. They are presented during the tenth anniversary of the Van GoghHuis on Wednesday 12th September. An edition of 25 signed photo prints will then be sold for the benefit of the Van GoghHuis. The photo prints will be added to the exhibition ‘After Van Gogh’ after the event, which will be on view up to 6th January 2019, next to works of art by Suat Ogüt, Matthew Day Jackson, Raul Ortega Ayala, Niek Hendrix and Stijn Peeters there will also be photos by Muniz after Van Gogh’s Irises and Vase with sunflowers.

Vik Muniz (Brazil, 1961), who lives and works in Rio de Janeiro and New York, is well-known for his depictions of western art history, which he copies using improbable materials such as snippings of paper, waste or plants. He doesn’t have the intention to deceive the public but to stimulate reflection on the reliability of the image. He forces us through his photographs to see and observe the process.

“All I want is to make the worst illusions imaginable that can still convince the average person…Illusions as bad as mine will awaken people to the deceptiveness of visual information and to the pleasure that can be derived from this. These illusions are made to dismantle the architecture of our concept of truth. This makes them meta-illusions”.

Muniz was the first contemporary artist who was given a solo exhibition in the renovated Mauritshuis in The Hague, and his works were exhibited at the Biennales of Venice and of Sao Paulo, and are represented in various museum collections all over the world. 


It is Vik Muniz’s choice in Zundert to depict the last still-life Van Gogh made of a pair of shoes. Vincent painted this canvas in 1888 in the Yellow House in Arles. Shoes had a strong symbolic meaning to Van Gogh. Although we do not know exactly what he tried to express, we can imagine that what he depicted is a kind of ‘self-portrait’. The shoes show us the tracks of his life, his pilgrimage. At the same time, they express his compassion for the working man. The shoes have suffered and are worn-out. Muniz also finds this image interesting because of Van Gogh’s perspective, towards the shoes on the floor, which is the same perspective from which we will see Muniz’s homage to Van Gogh. 

Vik Muniz – Van Gogh in dahlias is a project of Studio Vik Muniz in cooperation with the Vincent van GoghHuis, Van GoghGalerie and Bloemencorso Zundert, and is also made possible with the support of the province of Noord-Brabant, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Gifted Art, PRET Zundert, Air Franceǀ KLM, and Panasonic.