Thank you , Cathy, for this tip on an extraordinary project that photographer Vik Muniz created...using art to address his humanitarian concerns. I heard him speak a few years ago at the Art Institute of Chicago and his humanity shined thru. He makes art from pretty much anything, be it shredded paper, wire, clouds or diamonds.
There was a wonderful NYT article about the project HERE.
Vik Muniz was born into a working-class family in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1961. As a young man he was shot in the leg whilst trying to break up a fight. He received compensation for his injuries and used this money to fund a trip to New York City, where he has lived and worked since the late 1980s. He began his career as a sculptor but gradually became more interested in photographic reproductions of his work, eventually turning his attention exclusively to photography. He incorporates a multiplicity of unlikely materials into this photographic process. Often working in series, Vik has used dirt, diamonds, sugar, string, chocolate syrup and garbage to create bold, witty and often deceiving images drawn from the pages of photojournalism and art history. His work has been met with both commercial success and critical acclaim, and has been exhibited worldwide. His solo show at MAM in Rio de Janeiro was second only to Picasso in attendance records; it was here that Vik first exhibited his “Pictures of Garbage Series” in Brazil. (from Wastelands website)
This trailer for the movie (available thru netflix streaming) gives you preview of his truly inspired work.
And here, on a TED video Vik Muniz describes the thinking behind his work.