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Patrick McGrath Muñíz new paintings series


Patrick McGrath Muñíz painting - MYSTERIUM-CREATIONIS-HUMANI

Mysterium Creationis Humani, oil and gold leaf on canvas, 48” x 48”

Inspired after the Biblical narrative of the book of Genesis, Mysterium Creationis Humani (Mystery of Human Creation) is a personal re-interpretation of archetypes found in multiple cards of the Tarot. To begin with and in direct allusion to the Lovers card in the Tarot, we nd a depiction of the gures of Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil at the center. Eve stares down at the earth while pointing up at the sky, an allusion to the Hermetic Axiom “As Above, so Below”. Adam wears a grey mask and holds up a aming torch to the tree. This symbolizes the Promethean creative power of patriarchal civilization, but also its own destructive power with its rst technology burning down entire forests. The mask conceals his identity and without eyes, he cannot see who he is or where he is going. The twelve golden fruit hanging from the tree contain astrological signs, representative of the archetypal forces in u- encing the human psyche and cosmos. Two serpents (blue and red) twine together in an upward spiral motion resembling a double helix DNA molecule, the signature of life held within opposites. In the back- ground a Spanish Caravel approaches a tropical coastline, evoking the rst contact between the “Old” and “New” worlds and what would become the rst phase in environmental imperialism and the Columbi- an exchange that would alter world ecosystems forever. Behind Adam, we see a naked couple expelled from paradise as modern development occurs. The red and gold rounded triangular structure within the circular frame is inspired after the Scutum Fidei or Shield of Faith, a 12th century diagram used to illus- trate the doctrine of the Christian Trinity. Three outer circles (Son, Father and Holy Spirit) all connect to a central circle (God).

At the bottom left in place of the Son, we nd a Sacred Heart with an inscription in Spanish that reads: SAGRADO CORAZON DE LA TIERRA (Sacred Heart of the Earth) It’s position within the diagram and closeness to Eve implies its connection with the world of sensations, the body and materiality. At the bottom right, we see a pyramid resembling the Divine Providence or all Seeing Eye of God found in the Great Seal of the United States. An inscription in English reads: The All SEEING EYE OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER. This symbol associated with God, the Father links patriarchal societies and human civilization with the hierarchical pyramid. Within the top circle a representation of a space satellite with the letters: D-A-T-A and an inscription in Latin that reads: SANCTUS NOUS-SPHERA SUPRA (Sacred Noosphere Above), a postulated sphere or stage of evolutionary development dominated by conscious- ness, the mind. The central circle placed on the tree contains the image of a puto (little angel) holding a cup (Holy Grail) and lotus ower (purity and harmony) with a circular inscription with one simple message in Latin, Spanish and English: “Know Thyself”. This is the core message for the painting. On the lateral segments in grisaille we see two allegorical gures. The old man on the left represents the agricultural revolution. He holds a scythe (symbol of Saturn, god of harvest) and stands on a tree stump. Two wheels above him are surrounded by variations of the letters GCTA. These stand for the nucleotides that make up DNA. ON the far right a younger male holds the wheels of the Industrial revolution and is met with ones and zeroes, the basic vocabulary for computer coding and AI. Two coins (head and tail) resembling a US quarter show the pro le of a primitive man and an eagle with inscriptions alluding to the manmade ctions of capitalism and imperialism. The Sun and the Moon seen with faces nearby serve as a reminder of how humans tend to anthropomorphize everything in existence.
At the four corners of the painting we see a Bull, a Lion, an “Angel of Life”, and an “Angel of Death”. The Bull looks up and behind him industrial level animal farming is taking place producing greenhouse gases such as methane. The bull is associated with the element of earth, the xed sign of Taurus, St. Luke the evangelist, Spain and its conquest of the “New World”. But it is also associated with the agricultural revolu- tion that started 10,000 years ago and dramatically changed the living conditions for all the creatures living on the planet. On the opposite side, a scared lion seems resigned to his fate as a train crosses the horizon behind him emitting CO2’s. The lion is a symbol of England, which ignited the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. The lion is also associated with re, the sign of Leo and St. Mark the evangelist. Above them, a water bearing angel, symbolizes the sign of Aquarius but also water, life and St. Matthew the evangelist. The winged grim reaper holds a scythe and takes over the position reserved for St. John, the eagle and air. Since there is also an association with the sign of Scorpio, death suddenly nds a reason to be where he is as the opposite of the life giving angel on the far left. Death is also found under the ground where our Adam and Eve stand on. The Latin inscriptions found within the curved red and gold frames are derived from the rst chapter of the book of Genesis: 1. In principio creavit Deus cælum et terram. 2. Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebræ erant super faciem abyssi : et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas. 3. Dix- itque Deus : Fiat lux. Et facta est lux. 4. Et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona : et divisit lucem a tenebris. (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and dark- ness [a]was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.)

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Thomas Vigil interview on NM PBS IColores


Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Gen Next

Aired on january 5th, 2019

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GenNext: Future So Bright REBOOT


Extend until March 29th 2019
GenNext: Future So Bright examines the future of New Mexico’s traditional arts, including artists who work with traditional materials or are inspired by historical techniques. Each artist is rooted in tradition, but has introduced their own unique element, exploring new materials such as street signs, stencil work, or new themes such as politics or indigenous imagery. Each artist brings a new and interesting perspective on colonial art; creating new and exciting art works that echo tradition and predict a bright future for the arts in New Mexico.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts   ►

Sculpture exhibition by Javier Marín
San Diego Museum of Art


Through March 3rd 2019

A Mexican sculptor of international renown, Javier Marín is best known for his monumental sculpture based primarily on the human form.
At the heart of Javier Marin’s work is the search for identity. Javier Marín’s work, above all, is about beauty, a particularly human beauty that reflects what the poet José Emilio Pacheco described as “the terrible miracle of being alive.”
San Diego Museum of Art   ►
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A closer look


A monthly series revealing the background story, inspiration and underlying details in the process of a single work of art The Golden Hour, Part 3 by Francis Di Fronzo

The Golden Hour 3

“The Golden Hour, Part 3” by Francis Di Fronzo is a 30” x 60” watercolor, gouache and oil painting featuring the artist’s familiar empty boxcars, which balance quietly on a stark horizon line of seemingly endless train tracks. Their worn, skeletal bodies have a lonely presence, one that evokes nostalgic romance or even a touch of sadness.
Beyond the painting’s shadowy foreground and the rusty boxcar exteriors is a contrasting cotton candy sunset, signifying the end of a long day’s journey for the tired train cars. Pink wispy clouds stretch across a softly lit teal sky in a way that is especially familiar to those who have experienced a Midwest or southwest sunset.
“It’s a reflective moment,” says Di Fronzo of his depiction of the day’s last light. The setting sun is also a reminder of something coming to an end, whether a single day or a full lifetime. “I can almost hear the creaking of those cars,” he says of his aged subjects. “But there’s a lot of beauty in the moment; instead of worrying about the end, there is enjoyment and peace in watching the sun set.”
Francis Di Fronzo has lived a bi-coastal life from childhood to adulthood. The artist was born in California but grew up in Pennsylvania and has since hopped back and forth between the two. He received his BFA from California State University, attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for his MFA, and currently lives in San Pedro, California. Di Fronzo identifies both states as home, but his true fascination lies in the barren landscape that connects them. “My moving around from coast to coast has endeared me to what’s in between,” says Di Fronzo. “I have a distant but affectionate relationship with the middle of the country – and I think it has a lot to do with my view of the world.” This affection led to Di Fronzo’s train car motif, which brings up complex emotions and varied interpretations. Transient adventure, emotional connection and the passage of time are among the many meanings that Di Fronzo conveys through his work.
“I’m drawn to boxcars because they express something universal about life,” he says. “There is a sense of exploration and transience; people used to hop in boxcars and travel across the country and there’s romance in that. But there’s also a sense of connection; if you want to get somewhere, just follow the train tracks.” Di Fronzo is also fascinated by the architecture of the trains themselves. The boxcar structures are clearly worn down and decaying, yet their massive steel bodies maintain a powerful presence.

“They’re almost like living things that move across the land,” says Di Fronzo. “It’s amazing how fragile some of them are, much like an old person. Like one touch could break a bone.” Above all, Di Fronzo’s paintings engage the viewer with an intriguing sense of mystery. Where are these landscapes? Do they exist in the past, present or future? What have these train cars seen and where are they headed?
“I like the idea of my paintings having a life and raising questions,” says the artist. “I hope that when collectors buy and live with my paintings that they always see something new in them, and the sense of mystery is an ongoing experience.”

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