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PATRICK McGRATH MUÑIZ

NARRATIVES

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DISNEYFICAION

"DISNEYFICATION OF A HERO"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil on canvas
38" x 52"
$10,500

 
“Disneyfication of a Hero” is one of my largest paintings at the moment. In this piece I have represented various mythic and historical characters in an anachronistic narrative. As the title suggests the painting is about cultural transformation. The term “disneyfication” implies a process by which an object, character, place, artwork or piece of literature is stripped from its original context and meaning and repackaged in a sanitized Disney-like version ready for mass consumption. The central figure is a representation of the classical hero Hercules. As the rat magician rises above a TV screen making a commanding gesture, our hero holds a hair wax removal cream on his left hand. Inspired in Renaissance tradition I created a composition that reflects on a procession of “trumps.” Just like in the Tarot cards and in many pagan and Christian festivities every character is followed by one of a higher rank or position. Behind the hero I have painted allegorical figures that represent Time, Conquest, Childhood, Promised Land, Fame, Fortune and Death. These allegorical figures are accompanied by small Disney-like characters and other consumer culture related icons. The group is about to encounter a fortunetelling gypsy sitting with three Tarot cards. On the background there are other parallel stories taking place. Diego De Landa, a 16th century Spanish archbishop burned countless Mayan scriptures, erasing Pre-Columbian history in the name of Christianity. When placed in the same painting the narratives connect with new meaning. The burning and destruction of books, of history in the past doesn’t seem so distant from our contemporary consumer oriented corporate evangelists.
 

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PROMETHEUS UNBOUND

"PROMETHEUS UNBOUND"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil and metal leaf on wood panel
21" x 15"
$2,500

 
The title of this piece comes after the title of a play by English poet Percy B. Shelley. In this piece as in the play the narrative unfolds as Hercules liberates the tormented hero Prometheus from his eternal suffering after being punished by Zeus for bringing fire to humanity. In this case the story has been reinterpreted in light of present events. Around Prometheus’ head three W’s suggest World Wide Web, the new fire and light of our age. Tattooed on the hero’s hands an “I” & “T” stand for Information Technology. The shackles that kept Prometheus bound to the rock are broken and a dead eagle is seen on the bottom right. Hercules shot an arrow at the bird that kept tearing Prometheus’ flesh. The star in the sky and the bitten apple on the tree represent hope and knowledge. An angel flying at the upper left carries a “cut” film sign as this act comes to an end. In the background chaos reigns as a police officer pepper sprays a Jesus carrying the cross in front of a “Wall st Mart.” The pediment on top of this piece contains a coin with the emblematic American eagle flanked by figures that represent the media information and state enforcement.
 

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OFFERINGS FROM THE TREE

"OFFERINGS FROM THE TREE OF BIO-ENGINEERED FOODS"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil on canvas
36" x 36"
$7,000

 
“Offerings from the Tree of Bio-engineered Foods” responds to the tradition of painting allegories derived from Classical myth and Christian doctrines. The composition is inspired by a Gothic Illuminated manuscript painting by Berthold Furtmeyer. The original narrative revolves around the theme of the Virgin Mary and Eve feeding the saved and damned from the tree of life and death. In this updated version, Cain and Abel holding hands (represented by their sacrificial altars behind them) feed two groups of people with modern day veggie soups and burgers that grow from this bio-engineered food tree. On the left side we find pop culture characters Popeye, Olive Oyl, French anorexic model Isabelle Caro and a poor farmer. On the opposite side: Popeye’s archenemy Brutus, Wellington Wimpy and an overweight consumer waiting to be fed. On the four corners the classical allegories to the four seasons and ages of man. The painting is a commentary on the Manichean dualistic understanding of the world with a liberal health-conscious or (over-conscious) vegetarian culture and a conservative bellicose carnivore culture both being fed from the same source of industrially manufactured processed food represented by the tree with a gas masked serpent. In the background Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and assistant Beaker from the Muppet show make some experiments with a bio-engineered corn.
 

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HOLY MATER

"HOLY MATER INFORMATICA"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil and metal leaf on panel
11 1/2" x 16"
$2,000

 
In the triptych “Holy Mater Informatica” I have incorporated imagery that evokes Latin American Colonial Art. The Centerpiece Madonna with child is inspired in the work of Jose Campeche, a colonial painter from Puerto Rico, where I grew up. What makes this piece different is the use of visual elements that bring to mind modern day technological devices that refer to our media and internet culture. This Madonna and child stand for a new immaterial colonization, that of the mind through the use of information. The children standing with satellite dishes on the left and right wings represent the new generations that will grow up with the “screen” culture. In grisaille on the closed doors two kids hold symbols that allude to knowledge and information.
 

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METROADONIS

"METROADONIS"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil on panel and metal leaf on carved wood
27 1/2" x 18 1/2"
$3,80
0

 
“Metroadonis” is a painting about ideal male beauty. The title for this work derives from the contemporary neologism “metrosexual” which refers to a man living in an urban, post-industrial culture who spends his time and money on his personal image and appearance. Adonis was a fertility god in the ancient world usually associated with beauty and paired with Venus. In “Metroadonis” I have combined these ideas to create a new model. At his feet two babies point in opposite directions toward two busts, one is a Greek statue while the other looks like a modern mannequin. A small statue of Jesus can also be spotted nearby referencing Christianity as part of the ancient cult to male beauty.
 

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SAVE ME

"SAVE ME FROM HOLLYWOOD"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil on panel and gold leaf on carved wood
25" x 17"
$3,50
0

 
Based on the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, used and twisted in Hollywood films, “Save me from Hollywood” is a response to how ancient myths have been deprived from their original meaning and repackaged for modern day mass-consumption. In this piece I have re-presented defenseless Andromeda chained to a rock and threatened by a sea monster full of ads and consumer propaganda. She awaits Perseus to save her from this mass-media monster that threatens us all. Another devilish Mickey-like figure sits on a toilet nearby. He is about to wipe himself with ripped pages from books on history and mythology.
 

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SPRAYING GLOBAL OCCUPATION

"SPRAYING GLOBAL OCCUPATION"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil and gold leaf on wood triptych
25" x 18"
$4,000

 
Inspired by recent Occupation movements that started to spread globally by the end of 2011, I created this triptych altarpiece to connect some historical events with the present moment. The use and appropriation of Roman Catholic imagery creates another level of spiritual complexity to the historical narrative. In the centerpiece a representation of Saint Michael the Archangel is defeating the devil this time not with sword and scales in hand but with a police baton and pepper spray. In the background cupid has just sprayed the word “Revolution” on a wall. Nearby camera men shoot their cameras at a policeman handcuffing Jesus. On the left wing a representation of Charles V Holy Roman Emperor stands proudly with a banner displaying a cross and corporate logos. This character is an embodiment of supreme Imperial power from the time of the conquest and colonization of the New World. At his feet a skull masked indigenous character points out to the right. On the right wing I have appropriated the female allegory of Liberty guiding the people from a painting by Delacroix. This time she carries a new banner while confronting an anti-riot policeman at the bottom. The inscription on the lower segment of the piece translates from Latin to English as: “Occupy Government, Church, Corporations and Media.” The symbols depicted on the closed doors are those of the planetary signs of Uranus, Saturn, Pluto and Neptune. These as well as the imagery used in this painting respond to the study of archetypal astrology and the planetary alignments associated with the French Revolution and the Occupy Global movement. Interpretation and meaning of this piece is open and multivalent as in archetypal astrology.
 

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TREE

"TREE OF FREE CHOICES"
Patrick McGrath Muñiz
Oil and metal leaf on canvas
36" x 36"
$7,00
0

 
The “Tree of Free Choices” is a painting about dual nature and the doctrine of free will. These ideas are placed in relation to contemporary material and information consumption. Inspired by the miniature gothic painting “Tree of Death and Life” by Berthold Furtmeyer, this image evokes the duality between the material and spiritual world, a Christian view that has long influenced the western mind since the time of St. Augustine. As with the traditional image of the Tree of Life and Death, I have kept Eve in close association with death and feeding the damned while the Virgin Mary enlightens the blessed with the fruit of life. But something has changed with this new narrative. I have placed consumer products in hands of the damned while the blessed carry technological devices related to the dissemination of information and virtual intangible commodities. We are presented therefore with a new tree of “Free Choices.” Become a consumer of material or immaterial goods. In the background a figure that resembles Christopher Columbus holds out a banner with Christian and Corporate logos while being offered fruits and vegetables by native workers. A shopping cart stands under the tree and on the tree astrological symbols have replaced the fruit. These astrological signs are those of the planets and can be understood as the source of archetypes from which all trade, exchange and consumption in our planet derive. At the four corners the triangle shapes represent the four elements: fire, water, earth and air.
 

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