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Vik Muniz
Valentina, the Fastest, from the "Sugar Children" series
1996
silver print
14 x 11 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation



The prints in Muniz's Sugar Children series are based on photographs he took of black children on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. To create these images, Muniz used granulated sugar to draw copies of the photographs on pieces of black paper. After each was completed he photographed the image and cleared the paper to start over again. This technique reflects his thoughts about the children themselves. The sugar represents "the sweetest group of human beings" he had ever met; the process of erasing and starting anew emphasizes their probable future of unrelenting, repetitive work on island sugar plantations.



La serie Sugar Children, de Muniz, se basa en fotografías de niños negros que tomó en la isla caribe de San Cristóbal. Muniz usaba azúcar granulada para hacer las copias sobre papel negro. Una vez completa la imagen, la fotografiaba y limpiaba el papel para comenzar de nuevo. Esa técnica refleja sus ideas sobre los niños mismos. El azúcar representa "el grupo de seres humanos más dulce" que jamás había conocido; el proceso de borrar y empezar de nuevo subraya su probable futuro de trabajo incesante y repetitivo en las plantaciones de azúcar de la isla.