(American, b. 1961)
Digital chromogenic print
Framed: 270.4 x 180.3 cm (106 7/16 x 71 in.); Unframed: 270.4 x 180.3 cm (106 7/16 x 71 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2015.16
© Vik Muniz / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Edition: edition of 6
Just as the museum is a storehouse for civilizations’ cultural past, The Thinkers is a repository for individuals’ pasts.
Scale is a critical component in the experience of viewing this photographic enlargement of a collage. From a distance, you see a couple posing around 1940 by Rodin’s The Thinker at the south facade of the Cleveland Museum of Art. When approached, that image dissolves into hundreds of snippets of other people’s family photos pasted together. Even the overall image is based on a snapshot from the artist’s collection of found photographs. Their original context and meaning have been lost, yet the images evoke nostalgia for our own family mementos and encourage us to think about the nature and uses of photography then and now.
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