ABOUT THE ARTIST
Patrick McGrath Muñiz is an artist from Puerto Rico, working primarily with oil paintings on canvas and retablos. His work is inspired after Old Master and Spanish colonial paintings while addressing issues such as colonialism, consumerism and climate change.
Some of his previous solo shows have been at Museo de las Americas, San Juan, PR, Museo Convento Las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, Arizona and the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, Texas. Patrick's work has also been shown at the Bronx Museum, NY, Spanish Colonial Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and The Holocaust Museum and Station Museum in Houston, TX.
He obtained a BFA (Magna Cum Laude) in Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003 and an MFA (Suma Cum Laude) from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006. Patrick's work can be found at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, in Mesa, Arizona as well as a number of private collections in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. In 2017 with Maria, the artist lost his home and main art studio in Puerto Rico. He now lives in his new home in New Terriroty, Texas with his wife Blanca and son, Francis.
As an artist living in Texas, with a Roman Catholic background and growing up during the 1980's and 90's in the island of Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the Western hemisphere, my work responds to our globalized neo-liberal consumer society and its environmental indifference by tracing its origins to the time of Columbus. Adopting Renaissance pictorial techniques on canvas and retablos reminiscent of Spanish colonial art, allows me to emulate earlier indoctrination strategies and devices from the time of the conquest of the Americas.
Losing my home and studio with most of my artwork in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricane Maria in 2017, compelled me to create even better work imbued with a personal sense of responsibility to re-tell our current global paradigm the way I know best, through drawings, paintings, altarpieces and in the form of tarot cards, inspired after one of the few personal items I managed to salvage before the storm. Tarot, a deck of divination cards and visual tradition derived from Renaissance culture, offers lessons from the past, while attempting to forecast the future through the use of timeless allegories and occult symbolism. Beyond that, they also point towards a universal set of archetypes that allows us to re-interpret our current age, from a holistic perspective, viewing world history as cyclically interconnected.
Through satirical narratives, anachronisms and a re-contextualization of history I'm able to explore and shed light on the colonial roots of the ruling Corpocracy with its Neo-colonial ramifications. By appropriating figures and icons from History, Mythology, Tarot, Spanish Colonial Iconography and Pop Culture, I recreate scenes that mirror my own experience living in a country torn by a polarizing mass media in an age of information technology, climate change and global pandemics. The result is a set of two dimensional contemplative sanctuaries that blend personal myths and memories with modern history and religious icons in order to reflect on how our capitalist doctrines, corporate ideologies, and consumerist habits have modified our appreciation towards spirituality, history, nature and ourselves. Ultimately I make art as a way of knowing myself , as a means to understanding the world around me and as an antidote to our intolerable collective amnesia and superfluous distracted media that keeps us disconnected from reality.
To see a YouTube brief video of the evolution of my work over two decades click the image below: