ABOUT THE ARTIST
Patrick McGrath Muñiz is an artist from Puerto Rico, now living in Texas. Patrick's current artwork is comprised primarily of drawings, 'retablo' paintings and tarot cards, inspired after one of the few personal items he managed to recover before hurricane Maria hit his childhood home and studio in the island in 2017. The artist incorporates and combines figures and icons from Spanish Colonial Iconography, American Pop Culture and Tarot layered with personal myths and memories. His work reflects on the colonial roots of our current consumer culture.
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 the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, TX, The Jung Center, Houston, TX and Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia, PA. His work has also been shown at the Bronx Museum, NY, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, NM, The Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, NM, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR and Centro de Artes in San Antonio, TX
Patrick 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. His paintings can be found at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Albuquerque Museum, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, NM and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, in Mesa, Arizona. His artwork is in a number of private collections in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, including in the art collection of the Chairman Emeritus of the Smithsonian National Latino Board Henry R. Muñoz III. Patrick is the author of Tarot Neocolonial de las Americas, published by US Games. He now lives in New Territory, Texas with his wife Blanca and son, Francis.
My work responds to our globalized neo-liberal consumer society 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 and colonization of the Americas. Through satirical narratives, anachronisms and a re-contextualization of history, I reflect on the colonial roots of the ruling Corpocracy with its Neo-colonial ramifications. The paintings also mirror my own experience living in world torn by a polarizing mass media in an age of information technology, climate change, persistent nuclear threat, global pandemics and rising A.I. The result is a corpus of two dimensional contemplative scenes that appropriate and combine figures and icons from Spanish Colonial Iconography, American Pop Culture, World History, Mythology and Tarot layered with personal myths and memories.
Losing my home and studio with most of my artwork in the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricane Maria in 2017, compelled me to create a new body of work comprised of drawings, paintings, altarpieces and 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 born in the Renaissance, offers lessons from the past, while attempting to forecast the future through the use of timeless allegories and occult symbolism. Like Astrology, the images from the Tarot remind us of our inherited Western world fictions and alternative belief systems, which have influenced our culture for millennia. Beyond that, it also points towards a universal set of archetypes that allows us to explore and re-interpret our current age, from a holistic perspective, viewing world history and our own lives as cyclically interconnected.
Growing up during the 1980's and 90's in the oldest colony in the Western hemisphere instilled in me a growing awareness of how much our adopted capitalist doctrines, corporate ideologies, and consumerist fictions have modified and shaped our appreciation towards spirituality, culture, history, nature and ourselves. I see art as a creative attempt to recover some of our fading memories and as an antidote to our intolerable collective amnesia and superfluous distracted consumer media that keeps us disconnected from the natural world and our human psyche. Ultimately I make art as a way to know myself and connect my own story with the larger story of humanity.