Big James Sweats Buckets
1996 Vik Muniz Born: Sao Paulo, Brazil 1961 gelatin silver print sheet: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase made possible by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation 1998.31.1 Not currently on view
Vik Muniz drew portraits of the children of sugar cane workers he met on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts using sugar crystals on black paper, which he then photographed for the series he called "The Sugar Children." As he wipes the paper clean after creating each image and begins again, his actions and his subjects' lives take on symbolic value, suggesting that generations of cane workers have been consumed by the sugar industry.
Ethnic - African-American
Figure male - child - bust
Portrait male - unidentified - Big James
photography - photoprint