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 by one of the few personal items he managed to recover before hurricane Maria hit his childhood home and studio on 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.
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.
2018 - DIASPORAMUS (2018 revisited 2021), Oil on canvas.
What about climate change speaks to you as an artist, illustrator, and author?
What speaks to me are the personal stories we tell as a consequence of living through the many effects triggered by climate change. The personal anecdotes of survival, displacement, and adaptation are something I'm familiar with and can relate to. Some of these stories are what lies as the inspiration behind my recent work.
What is your view on the role of art in activism, and how do you aim to create impact through your work?
Although there might be potential, I do not pretend in any way to make art as a form of activism. In this intensely polarized society, most people won't be swayed from their own set of beliefs and will rather follow their preconceived 'confirmation biases'. Instead, I aim at using art as a means of understanding our current predicament, coping with the effects which are out of my control, while finding common ground with other people's stories.
2023 - LA APOCALYPTICA, Oil and metal leaf on triptych panel.
What inspired you to tackle climate change and the impacts of hurricanes as a theme as part of your collection?
Having lived in Puerto Rico for most part of my life I could not only see the intensifying effects of climate change, but also how smaller ecosystems slowly vanished in front of my own eyes. In my experience, growing up in an island, these changes seem to be amplified to the point where environmental changes are quite undeniable to the naked eye. My paintings reflect and comment on these changes which are often overlooked or conveniently ignored.
Can you share a particular project or campaign that you are most proud of or one currently underway that our audience might be able to support?
At this moment, I'm presenting my most recent work in a solo show titled: "Retablos" at Evoke Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The work in this show responds to our consumer driven culture, climate change and the current neo-colonial 'corpocracy' with its roots in our colonial past. Taking inspiration in Spanish colonial art, religious iconography and Tarot, I create retablo paintings that reflect on my own myths and stories from an archetypal perspective.
2022 - HOLIER THAN THOU, Oil on triptych panel.
What is the one takeaway message you would like audiences to leave with after viewing any of your work?
Art can be very effective at creatively channeling and translating the human experience of living in an age when we're already living through the effects of climate change. I also feel that the retelling of our personal narratives in art can connect us to each other, the larger story of humanity and even larger story of our planet. The main takeaway message would be to see ourselves all in the same boat, no matter if it is Hurricane Harvey in Houston or Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico; we all share a common home with similar stories and a shared fate we must all face together.
Website – www.patrickmcgrath-art.com
Instagram – www.instagram.com/patrickmcgrathmuniz
YouTube – The Artwork of Patrick McGrath Muniz
Facebook – www.facebook.com/patrick.v.muniz