Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Very thankful for 2013, looking forward to 2014 so Happy New Year!

2013 was a year that brought forth new projects and new frontiers for my work. In the beginning of this year I was still working on the project Devocionales: neo colonial retablos from an archetypal perspective. It was originally planned to be a collection of 22 retablo paintings reinterpreting the 22 major Arcana from the Tarot, using the archetypal core themes as departing points for the colonial- neo-colonial narrative connections.  Instead, It became more flexible and broke away from what I felt was becoming a constricting conceptual structure that limited the meaning and possibilities of the work. In the end, the project became a collection of 20 pieces loosely based in the Tarot but always pointing towards the archetypal themes not only present in Tarot and astrology but in art history as well.  It has been the most complex work I've worked on so far, layering signs, symbols and elements from different historical traditions but all converging at the same archetypal meeting points.

This work was presented in September at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum at Mesa, Arizona and got good attention and a very positive response from the public. I am very grateful to Tiffany Fairfall, Colette Pencenka, Patty Haberman, Betty Florez and Marco Albarran, who with professionalism and hard work helped make this project possible at the museum. It was presented alongside another interesting exhibition titled Messin’ with the Masters, an excellent group show of contemporary artists reinterpreting the works of the old masters. We had a great time in Arizona, met some old friends and made new ones as well. Oh and I should mention that one of the pieces (La Emperatriz) that formed part of Devocionales is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

 La Emperatriz (2013) Oil and metal leaf on panel 24 x 47 
By Patrick Mcgrath Muñiz
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum Collection

In the second half of this year I prepared work for a second solo show titled M@donnas: Reintepretations of the image of Mary. After completing Devocionales, I felt the need to create a work that was lighter, much more intuitive and direct. The idea was to present painted reinterpretations of the image of the Virgin Mary depicting her in relation and to several contemporary issues such as consumerism, environmental crisis and the mass media pervasive global culture.  

 Space Age Madonna (2013) Oil on canvas 24" x 36"
By Patrick Mcgrath Muñiz

This collection of 15 oil paintings on canvas and panel was presented in November at La Antigua Galeria de Arte in Antigua Guatemala. This project had a very good response from the general public and very good coverage from the media. I wish to thank Estela de Johnston, gallery manager and Frank Lee Mays, gallery owner for providing me with the space and opportunity to show my work in Guatemala once again. Mercedes, Christian and Monique, the gallery staff also did a very good job and it’s always a pleasure to work with them.  

Finally in December, the show Devocionales: neo colonial retablos from an archetypal perspective was transferred to Tansey Contemporary (Formerly Jane Sauer Gallery) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One thing I enjoy about my job as an artist is the opportunity I get to travel and visit new places each time I have a solo show.  New Mexico in winter was a surreal experience for me, not being used to seeing snow and desert in the same place, it was simply beautiful! Travelling with my wife made the experience even more fun as we ventured together on a trip to Chaco Canyon, to visit the complex ancient ruins that are a must see for anyone who has the time when visiting the state. 

La Papisa (2013) Oil and metal leaf on panel 24" x 47"
By Patrick Mcgrath Muñiz
Available at Tansey Contemporary

Of course the opening night for the show at Tansey Contemporary was the highlight of the trip and it had a very good turnout. Media coverage was great and response was very positive as well. I am very pleased to be working with such a nice team of professionals that give it their best when it comes to presenting new work to the public. I wish to thank Jane Sauer who gave me the opportunity to show my work at the gallery and to Richard Boyle and Jorden Nye for their friendship, dedication, and support for these past two years.  I was also very glad to meet Paige Diem and Jeff Uffelman, who are artists themselves and now contribute with their expertise at the gallery. Mike and Jennifer Tansey, the new gallery owners, have been great to work with and I feel honored to be one of the artists represented by their gallery.

I wish to thank them and all of you for your constant support throughout my artistic career. I wish to specially thank my wife Blanquita and my family, in Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Spain and Florida who have been there supporting me for all these years and to my close friends and colleagues who keep me inspired with their work and friendship. I can already see 2014, a year full of blessings and creative potential waiting to be unleashed. I hope to keep this blog going, this artist studio super productive and wish you all Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year! See you next year!