Puerto Rico–born artist Patrick McGrath Muñiz pays homage to the tarot and its archetypal imagery in his exhibit “Retablos,” a selection of paintings based on the 22 Major Arcana cards of the tarot. The artist draws, as cartomancy has for hundreds of years, from the contemporary world as well as from the world’s long past.
Solo Exhibition November 24—January 20, 2024
Opening reception November 24th, 5pm – 7pm at EVOKE Contemporary
The artist will be in attendance and there will be complimentary tarot readings by a local intuitive reader.
More from the gallery:
Muñiz received his BFA from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan in 2003, and his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Georgia, in 2006. His painting style recalls the work of well-known Puerto Rican artist José Campeche (1751–1809), who learned in turn from the Spanish court painter Luis Paret y Alcázar (1746–1799), who lived in exile on the island. But the retablo tradition in North America is mainly associated with 17th- and 18th-century New Mexican santeros, or saint makers, a tradition that continues today.
Early on, painters of the Spanish Colonial period painted and carved in a style derived from the Spanish baroque and rococo. Following suit, Muñiz, an astute student of classical painting traditions, brings a stately poise to his ﬁgures, but often adds satirical elements that provide humor and invite afterthought.
Muñiz sees more in the past 500 years of history than the stories told by the victors. He also looks beyond more obscure narratives salvaged from the histories of peoples trampled by European conquest.
The topical themes explored in Retablos serve also as reminders that contemporary issues often inform art, and that the past informs the present. Muñiz looks for the hidden meanings between the correspondences, recognizing patterns that are repeated throughout history. The past holds lessons unlearned. Rather than a didactic treatise on what’s wrong with the world, he lends it a certain noble prestige. The drama of the human story unfolds, with comedy and tragedy as its recurrent themes. Through the imagery, art, and history, Patrick McGrath Muñiz unveils a portrait of humanity with a shadow aspect gnawing at its soul.