Vicente José de Oliveira Muniz was born into a working class family in São Paulo, Brazil. After studying advertising at the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado de São Paulo, he relocated to Brooklyn, New York, in 1983. Whilst working as a sculptor he became fascinated with the photographic reproductions of his sculptures, and decided to focus his attention towards photography.
During the 1990s, Muniz became renowned for his experimental approach to the photographic process. Parodying recognisable images from pop culture and Old Master paintings, he began to incorporate unusual materials such as diamonds, caviar, dirt, ketchup and chocolate syrup. In 2001, he represented Brazil at the 49th Biennale in Venice, Italy, and was the subject of the 2010 documentary Waste Land.
He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.