Mare Magnum | Oil and Gold Leaf on Triptych Panel | 48.5" x 30" | 2014
Artist Statement: My work responds to our consumerist society and its indifference to global ecological and social injustice. As a painter coming from a Roman Catholic background and growing up during the 1980s and 90s on the island of Puerto Rico—the oldest colony in the Western hemisphere—I’m inspired by pop culture icons, Christian Iconography, and mythological imagery present in art history, tarot, and astrology. These sources provide a set of universal archetypes that allow me to reinterpret our current socioeconomic and cultural conditions, viewing world history as cyclical and interconnected. In my work, I adopt painting techniques on canvas and “retablos” reminiscent of Spanish colonial art. This enables me to emulate earlier indoctrination strategies and devices from the time of the conquest of the Americas, in order to provide historical continuity and a link between the colonial and the neo-colonial narratives present in our globalized era. Living in an information age and inspired by art history, I appropriate, re-contextualize, and orchestrate figures from history, religion, mythology, and pop culture into satirical narratives that mirror my experiences within the world.
Patrick McGrath Muñiz was born in New York in 1975, and grew up in Puerto Rico. He obtained a BFA (magna cum laude) from the School of Fine Arts of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003, and a master’s degree (summa cum laude) from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006. In 2007, he exhibited Iconsumer, a series of paintings inspired by Spanish colonial art and addressing contemporary pop culture from a neo-colonial perspective, at the Museum of the Americas in San Juan. He has exhibited his work nationally in New York, Santa Fe, Miami, and Los Angeles. He has also shown internationally, to include the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Mexico. In 2008, he received the Prima Opera prize from the International Association of Art Critics, and the Francisco Goya award in Spain. His work can be found at the Museum of Art and History, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Mesa Art Center Museum, in Mesa, Arizona, the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia, as well as in numerous private collections in the United States, Europe and Latin America. He currently lives in Houston, Texas.