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    As an artist with a Roman–Catholic background and growing up during the 1980’s and 90’s on the island of Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the Western Hemisphere, my work responds to our capitalist society and its consumerist doctrines with its indifference to social inequality and climate change. Adopting Renaissance painting techniques on canvas, and retablos reminiscent of Spanish colonial art, enables me to emulate earlier indoctrination strategies and devices from the time of the conquest of the Americas. This in turn provides historical continuity between the Colonial and the Neo–colonial. Through satirical narratives and anachronisms present in my art I’m able to explore, understand, and question the Imperialist agenda with its colonial roots and the ruling Corpocracy with its Neo–colonial ramifications and environmental consequences in our time. The visitation of the Magi is a very well–known image cherished throughout Puerto Rico, Mexico and the rest of Latin America. So are many of the icons and consumer culture elements depicted in Adoracion Capital. An “Old fashioned” Quaker Oats man and Aunt Jemima, well established corporate entities pose as the holy parents to a new generation of consumers driven by technology and non–material goods existing in cyberspace. The protagonist child wearing a Che Guevara t–shirt is absorbed by the small screen, while a Burger King and a group of immigrant workers bring food and other presents. In the background, a Santa pushes a shopping cart full of gifts out of a department store. This painting is a satirical commentary on our current consumer culture. Como un artista con un antecedente católico romano y que creció durante la década de 1980 y 90 en la isla de Puerto Rico, la colonia más antigua del hemisferio occidental, mi trabajo responde a nuestra sociedad capitalista y sus doctrinas consumistas con su indiferencia a la desigualdad social y cambio climático. La adopción de técnicas de pintura renacentista en lienzos y retablos que recuerdan el arte colonial español, me permite emular estrategias y dispositivos de adoctrinamiento derivados de la época de la conquista de las Américas. Esto a su vez proporciona continuidad histórica entre lo colonial y lo neocolonial. A través de narrativas satíricas y anacronismos presentes en mi arte, puedo explorar, comprender y cuestionar la agenda imperialista con sus raíces coloniales y la Corpocracia gobernante con sus ramificaciones neocoloniales y consecuencias ambientales en nuestro tiempo. La visita de los Reyes Magos es una imagen muy reconocida y apreciada en todo Puerto Rico, México y el resto de América Latina. También lo son muchos de los íconos y elementos de la cultura consumista representados en Adoracion Capital. Un hombre posando como Quaker Oats y Aunt Jemima, entidades corporativas bien establecidas se hacen pasar por los santos padres de una nueva generación de consumidores impulsados por la tecnología y los bienes no materiales, existentes en el ciberespacio. La pequeña pantalla absorbe al niño protagonista que lleva una camiseta del Che Guevara, mientras que Burger King y un grupo de trabajadores inmigrantes traen comida y otros regalos. En el fondo, un Papá Noel empuja un carrito de compras lleno de regalos de una tienda por departamentos. Esta pintura es un comentario satírico sobre nuestra cultura de consumo actual.

    After Hurricane Irma and Maria hit the colony of Puerto Rico, the lives of Puerto Ricans living in the island have been transformed forever including my own family. The image of the Christian Crucifixion is often seen as a testament of suffering, love and sacrifice. These experiences are not alien to the people living in the island after the hurricanes. The pathos and passion of a community that gets up after disaster strikes is what inspired this painting. But the sense of sadness and empathy doesn’t come without criticism on the way things have been handled in the oldest colony of the world. The colonial mindset is also prone to indoctrination and submissive behavior rooted in centuries of cultural assimilation and conformity. In this contemporary depiction of the crucifixion, Christ is nailed to an electric post that has been partially destroyed by the winds… or perhaps there was a human hand at it? As the electric grid still lies in shambles to this day, diesel cans and power generators become the rule of the day. High above a sign that reads “FREE MAN” has been partially erased, now reading FEMA as a mockery and commentary to the ridiculously inefficient aid provided by the Federal Government. On the painted frame, an assortment of parody products, food and supplies provided by FEMA and other agencies, are depicted. The black Puerto Rican flags above, signs of resistance and mourning in light of the recent economic austerity measures imposed on the island by the U.S. finance sector. The characters at the foot of the cross represent different attitudes and responses from part of the people on the aftermath of the hurricanes. Some prepare to leave, others wait and hope, some try to offer a helping hand, others cross their arms and conceal themselves from the world. Below a naked woman in despair holds a skull and a satyr child pulls out an outlet power strip cord. Myths converge with reality in bleak scenario inhabited by magical realism. The rooster in the Caribbean represents vigilance and courage. In the background other figures appear. Chiquita, Mr. Monopoly and Ronald McDonald represent American transnational corporations and capital. They are lead into the scene by a Spanish soldier and dwarf from the colonial period. Behind them a Spanish caravel with the devil onboard shows its sails with corporate logos. The logo right above the devil is of Banco Santander, a Spanish bank and one of the most corrupt banks to do business in the island. Teddy Roosevelt is seen riding a white horse, a reminder of the American invasion of the island during the Spanish American war of 1898 in which the U.S. took possession of the island one year after it had already liberated from Spain. It has occupied it since. Some putti (baby angels) with a satellite dish and camera, representing the media, hover around President Donald Trump. He can be seen throwing paper towels to the devoted natives. Next to them another group of people raise their phones up to a cell phone tower in order to get a signal. Poor communications has been another ongoing issue in the island. A cargo ship in the distance bring much needed supplies but as many Puerto Ricans are aware of, nothing comes into the ports unless it is allowed by the Jones Act, which requires that all goods transported to Puerto Rico be carried on American ships crewed and owned by U.S. citizens. All other international vessels carrying aid and supplies from other countries are subject to high tariffs, effectively blocking any kind of commercial trade or humanitarian assistance coming from neighboring countries, isolating Puerto Rico even more. Two serpents emerge from behind Christ symbolizing the two opposite choices and the dual political nature of the island. People living under a colonial rule basically live in a state of limbo which does not allow them to move forward as a country. They either choose independence or become a state which is highly unlikely given the current politics of the U.S. Puerto Ricans often fight over these issues and remain divided over politics. Two toilet papers below roll out the title of this painting: CRUZ Y FICCION (ES) which would translate in English as “Cross & fiction(s)”. Some people say there was a Puerto Rico before Maria and a Puerto Rico after Maria. One thing is for sure, the island where I grew up in is definitely in the crossroads of history where it must either decide what kind of future its people want or allow Wall St. and the U.S. to decide that for them. Después de que el huracán Irma y María azotaran la colonia de Puerto Rico, las vidas de los puertorriqueños viviendo en la isla se han transformado para siempre, incluida mi propia familia. La imagen de la crucifixión cristiana a menudo se ve como un testimonio del sufrimiento, el amor y el sacrificio. Estas experiencias no son ajenas a las personas que viven en la isla después de los huracanes. El pathos y la pasión de una comunidad que se levanta después de un desastre es lo que inspiró esta pintura. Pero la sensación de tristeza y empatía no viene sin criticar la forma en que se han manejado las cosas en la colonia más antigua del mundo. La mentalidad colonial también es propensa al adoctrinamiento y al comportamiento sumiso arraigado en siglos de asimilación y conformidad cultural. En esta representación contemporánea de la crucifixión, Cristo está clavado en un poste eléctrico que ha sido parcialmente destruido por los vientos... ¿o tal vez había alguna mano humana interviniendo en él? Como la red eléctrica todavía está en ruinas hasta el Sol de hoy, las latas de diesel y los generadores de energía se convierten en la regla del día. Muy por encima de un letrero que dice “FREE MAN” (Hombre Libre) se ha borrado parcialmente, y ahora se lee a FEMA como una burla y comentario a la ayuda ridículamente ineficiente proporcionada por el Gobierno Federal. En el marco pintado, se muestra una variedad de productos de parodia, alimentos y suministros proporcionados por FEMA y otras agencias. Las banderas negras puertorriqueñas arriba son signos de resistencia y duelo a la luz de las recientes medidas de austeridad económica impuestas en la isla por el sector financiero de los Estados Unidos. Los personajes al pie de la cruz representan diferentes actitudes y respuestas por parte de las personas después de los huracanes. Algunos se preparan para irse, otros esperan, algunos intentan ofrecer una mano amiga, otros se cruzan de brazos y se esconden del mundo. Debajo, una mujer desnuda, desesperada, sostiene una calavera y un niño sátiro saca un cable eléctrico. Los mitos convergen con la realidad en un escenario sombrío habitado por el realismo mágico. El gallo en el Caribe representa vigilancia y coraje. En el fondo aparecen otras figuras. Chiquita, Monopoly y Ronald McDonald representan a las corporaciones transnacionales estadounidenses y al capital. Son llevados a la escena por un soldado y enano español del período colonial. Detrás de ellos, una carabela española con el diablo a bordo muestra sus velas con logotipos corporativos. El logotipo justo encima del diablo es del Banco Santander, un banco español y uno de los más corruptos para hacer negocios en la isla. Se ve a Teddy Roosevelt montando un caballo blanco, un recordatorio de la invasión estadounidense de la isla durante la guerra hispanoamericana de 1898 en la que Estados Unidos tomó posesión de la isla un año después de que ya se había liberado de España. Lo ha ocupado desde entonces. Algunos putti (angelitos) con antena parabólica y cámara, representan a los medios de comunicación, se ciernen alrededor del presidente Donald Trump. Se le puede ver a este arrojando toallas de papel a los nativos devotos. Junto a ellos, otro grupo de personas eleva sus teléfonos hasta una torre de telefonía celular para obtener una mejor señal. La mala comunicación ha sido otro problema en la isla. Un buque de carga en la distancia trae suministros muy necesarios, pero como muchos puertorriqueños saben, no entra nada en los puertos a menos que lo permita la Ley Jones, que exige que todos los bienes transportados a Puerto Rico se transporten en barcos estadounidenses tripulados y de propiedad por ciudadanos estadounidenses. Todas las demás embarcaciones internacionales que transportan ayuda y suministros de otros países están sujetas a aranceles elevados, bloqueando efectivamente cualquier tipo de comercio o asistencia humanitaria proveniente de países vecinos, aislando aún más a Puerto Rico. Dos serpientes emergen detrás del Cristo, simbolizando las dos elecciones opuestas y la naturaleza política dual de la isla. Las personas que viven bajo un régimen colonial básicamente viven en un estado de limbo que no les permite avanzar como país. Eligen la independencia o se convierten en un estado que es altamente improbable dada la política actual de los puertorriqueños estadounidenses que a menudo luchan por estos problemas y permanecen divididos sobre la política. Dos papeles higiénicos debajo despliegan el título de esta pintura: CRUZ Y FICCION (ES). Algunas personas dicen que hubo un Puerto Rico antes de María y un Puerto Rico después de María. Una cosa es seguro, la isla en la que crecí está definitivamente en la encrucijada de la historia, donde debe decidir qué tipo de futuro la gente quiere, o permitir que Wall St. y los Estados Unidos decidan eso por ellos

    Inspired after “The Fool” card “0” from the Tarot, this is a painting that responds to Latin American contemporary issues such as immigration, cultural neo-colonialism, and consumerism through the use of magic realism and Spanish Colonial Iconography. In the scene, we encounter a Puerto Rican “Jibaro” (mountain–dwelling peasant) migrating from the countryside (on the left) to an urbanized landscape (on the right). He points upward with his index finger, right in front of a sign that reads “Pal Norte” (To the North) Below “Mcondo” in allusion to the magical realism place of Garcia Marquez‘s One hundred Years of Solitude. A flying saucer hovers above, suggesting the perceived nature of the migrant coming from the global south. This kind of jibaro is now a native Puerto Rican that dreams of a better life in suburban Central Florida, aka “Disneyrican Dreamer”. Coming from an island that is still a colony to this day, The Disneyrican Dreamer has a particular view of the world around him, divided in distinct geo–political polarities. As he crosses the border he sees a world separated by Empire/Colony, North and South, Rich and Poor. The two cartoon characters depicted on the sides of the painter frame are Mickey Mouse and Topo Gigio (The Mickey Mouse of the South. Mickey extends him a “Free Pass”. In the lower section of the frame a clown angel with an inscription in Spanish reads “De Aqui pa Alla” (From here to there). The background is populated by various characters from Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to a Franciscan monk and a visiting alien. The dog following the migrant holds a missing sandal in his mouth as if reminding the fellow not to forget his humble origins. We may notice by the pose and walking stick that he might be crippled, symbolic of the current crippled Puerto Rican economy. The rooster right beside him announces a bright new day, full of potential. The flying pig is a recurring character in my paintings and symbolizes that which may seem impossible. But he flies away because in the eyes of The Disneyrican Dreamer nothing is impossible. Inspirada tras la tarjeta “0” del Tarot, “El Loco”, esta pintura responde a cuestiones contemporáneas latinoamericanas como la inmigración, el neocolonialismo cultural y el consumismo mediante el uso del realismo mágico y iconografía colonial española. En la escena, nos encontramos con un “Jibaro” puertorriqueño (campesino que habita la montaña) que migra del campo (a la izquierda) a un paisaje urbanizado (a la derecha). Señala hacia arriba con su dedo índice, justo en frente de un letrero que dice “Pal Norte” (Al norte) debajo de “Mcondo” en alusión al realismo mágico de Cien años de Soledad de García Márquez. Un platillo volador se cierne arriba, lo que sugiere la naturaleza percibida del migrante que viene del sur global. Este jíbaro puertorriqueño sueña con una mejor vida en los suburbios de la Florida Central, por eso es conocido como un Disneyrican Dreamer. Proveniente de una isla que todavía es colonia hasta el Sol de hoy, el “Disneyrican Dreamer” tiene una visión particular del mundo que lo rodea, dividido en distintas polaridades geopolíticas. Cuando cruza la frontera, ve un mundo separado por Imperio / Colonia, Norte/Sur y Rico/Pobre. Los dos personajes de dibujos animados representados a los lados del cuadro del pintor son Mikey Mouse y Topo Gigio (El Mikey Mouse del Sur). Mickey le extiende un “Pase libre”. En la sección inferior del cuadro, un ángel payaso con una inscripción que lee “De Aqui pa Alla”. El fondo está poblado por varios personajes, desde Don Quijote y Sancho Panza hasta un monje franciscano y un extraterrestre. El perro que sigue al migrante tiene una sandalia perdida en su boca como si le recordara al hombre que no olvide sus orígenes humildes. Podemos notar por la pose y bastón que podría estar lisiado, símbolo de la economía puertorriqueña actual paralizada. El gallo justo a su lado anuncia un nuevo día, lleno de potencial. El cerdo volador es un personaje recurrente en mis pinturas y simboliza lo que puede parecer imposible, pero se va volando porque a los ojos del Disneyrican Dreamer nada es imposible.

    The painting titled The Disembarkment is inspired after traditional depictions of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. It is a commentary on Conquest, Colonization and the Manifest Destiny doctrine. Since 1492 to the present, indigenous peoples from north to south have been killed, displaced or pushed out of their lands. Religion has often served a “divine justification” for the widely held belief that white Europeans and later Anglo Americans were destined to possess the lands in the new world. The Judeo–Christian notion of a “promised land”, the Biblical validation of slavery and a well–established patriarchal hierarchy have all contributed to the conquest and colonization of the American continent. The Disembarkment is a painting about the tactics, myths and doctrines deployed by the Imperialist agenda, white supremacy and ruling Corpocracy. Yet with each conquest, with finite resources, every empire and those in power come closer to their own downfall. Below is a brief description of some of the characters and symbols found in this painting. 1. A “Christ-like” figure wearing a mask is about to preach to the native population. With one arm raised and the other holding a Bible with a corporate logo, the “false Christ” represents the appropriation and use of religion in order to serve a colonial agenda through manufactured consent and indoctrination. 2. An eagle flies with a snake, invoking the emblem on the Mexican flag. The sign the Aztecs followed in order to know where to settle and build their city of Tenochtitlan (Mexico city today) was an eagle holding a snake on top of a nopal. 3. A train and a digger plow through nature. 4. Daphne escapes the god Apollo while transforming into a laurel tree, a mythical allusion to man’s relation to nature. 5. A centaur is shot by an arrow shot from a Spanish Conquistador, an allusion to the myth of Hercules and Nessus, 6. A native man holds on to a statue of Coatlicue, the Earth goddess of life and death in the Aztec mythology. A mother stands in front of him holding a child, who is pointing straight at the corporate logo on the book held by the masked “Christ”. A woman in front of them bends the knee and assumes a devotional prayer posture. 7. A Jaguar and black panther stare back at the invading party while a child holds on to an iguana standing on a stone carved Aztec serpent head. Plants, animals and entire ecosystems are about to be taken over by the landing force. 8. The wounded Gaul is a classical reference signifying Rome’s imperial victory and defeat of the barbarian tribes. 9. A cat in the new world sows destruction in the fresh unaccustomed ecosystem. A soldier aims his gun at the colonized. 10. Saint Christopher, patron saint of the immigrants is carrying a Trump-like baby. 11. Justice on the side of the rich and powerful, comes to conquer in the name of profit. On her scale, consumerism and capitalism represented by a burger and a ฿ & $ bitcoin/dollar signs imply an abbreviation for ฿ull$hit. 12. Victory holds a laurel wreath leading president Teddy Roosevelt, on horseback and holding a shredded American flag. 13. Christopher Columbus, claims possession of the “New World” in the name of corporations (seen on the flag). 14. Spanish missionary Diego de Landa carries a small statue of the Virgin Mary while setting fire to a Pre–Columbian idol and codex history. Ironically he later translated what remained of the Mayan codices into Spanish. 15. A Mickey Mouse gas–masked child entering the scene while holding up a smart phone with a toy digger nearby represents a step toward the so–called “progress” and faith in the future despite the environmental crisis. 16. A Franciscan monk looks back at some tourists arriving in a cruise ship and snapping pictures of the native children who offer fruit in baskets to them. A self-portrait of the artist can be seen in between. 17. Armed A.I. standing on computer code, an impending existential threat to humanity in the not–so–distant future. 18. Atlas holding a globe. Opposite to him a “New Atlas” holding a heating globe with industrial chimneys on top. 19. Double–tailed mermaids hinting at a famous coffee shop franchise inspirational source. 20. Hippocampus, the mythic Greek sea horse along with other mythical sea creatures. 21. The U.S. seal has been replaced by a UPC bar code and the American bald eagle is now holding an M–16 and arrows. A menacing two–headed serpent overpowers the eagle’s presence. 22. Various depictions of oil rigs, fishing vessels, warships and Spanish Caravels are among the mythical sea creatures. 23. The mythological narrative of Europa and the Bull is now updated with a distracting smartphone device. 24. Over the DNA GTAC genetic sequence, the three wise monkeys (See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). 25. An upset mother holds a gas mask in her hands. 26. A cherub pours water from a jug, symbolizing the sign and age of Aquarius. 27. An angel holds a sword in allusion to the Last Judgment from the book of Revelations. 28. The crux of the Capitalists creed: Save, Govern, Loan and Rule. 29. From the twelve labors of Hercules, the hero fights the Lernaean Hydra and Nemean Lion. 30. A woman watches a cat video on YouTube. 31. An All-seeing eye on a pyramid top from the Great Seal of the US, is accompanied by a banner that reads: MANIFEST DESTINY and ANNUIT COEPTIS (Providence has favored our undertakings). 32. Another woman with a remote control watches TV. 33. Hercules handles Cerberus, guardian dog of Hades, the Underworld. 34. The Crux of the Consumerist creed: Buy, Submit, Conform and Consume. 35. An angel with a satellite dish in reference to the established main-stream media and its global influence 36. An Imperial Eagle sits over the halo of Saint Lazarus, Patron Saint of the Poor. 37. A rocket ship ascends towards the stars hinting at the possibility of human conquest and colonization of other worlds

    United Citizen Ship is inspired after “The Ship of Patience” also known as the “Ship of Christianity”, a 17th century engraving by Gerhard Altzenbach that was imported, widely disseminated and copied throughout the Spanish colonies in the Americas. In Altzenbach’s original engraving, we are presented with a ship crewed by the Virgin Mary, Saints and a Crucified Christ on a Cross that is also a mast. The composition is loaded with Christian symbolism and was thought by the clergy to be easier for an indigenous audience to understand. In this contemporary version of the “Ship of Patience”, other “people” are chosen to replace the colonial saints. Crewed by corporations, represented by their iconic characters and mascots, this ship is now a neo-colonial pantheon, preaching the holy gospel of the transoceanic free market enterprise. As the title suggests, they are “United Citizens” in allusion to the 2008 “Citizens United” ruling, which eliminated restrictions on how corporations spend their money in politics. By appropriating the visual vocabulary of colonial art from Latin America and aided by sarcasm and parody, United Citizen Ship comments on a corrupt economic neocolonial system represented by a ship. Below is a brief description of some of the characters and symbols found in this painting. 1. Crucified Christ by the Free Market with a sign that reads INC. instead of INRI (King of Jews). 2. A banner on the mast with emblems of the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as well as NAFTA and TPP free trade agreements. All responsible directly or indirectly to our current global economic climate with its overwhelming socio–economic inequality. 3. Plans for a future A.I. drawn with extended arms on a sail, to replace all human labor. An inscription reads: “God bless American Entrepreneurship, Outsourcing & Robosourcing”. “!Viva el Libre Comercio!” 4. Mr. Monopoly blows his wind according to the rules of a capitalist game that always benefits the rich. 5. Anonymous with a V for Vendetta mask blows fire of feared anarchy and imminent revolution. 6. An indigenous woman hangs from the mast of a smaller vessel. Suicide is a possible explanation. 7. The plight of the poor family below. Father, mother and child struggle to keep afloat. 8. A cow, one of the many invisible victims worst off living under a free market world. 9. Death along with a shark threaten the safety of all. The gas mask hints at the polluted environment. 10. A polar bear looks in despair as all the ice in the world melts, raising sea levels worldwide. 11. St. Brendan of Clonfert, the Irish voyager and patron saint of travelers throws an anchor. 12. Christopher Columbus desperately tries to get attention of the others while pointing to found land. 13. Santa Claus is the modern derivative from St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and merchants. 14. The personification of Liberty from Delacroix’s Liberty guiding the people (now corporations). 15. The Keebler elf from the largest cookie corporation in the U.S. 16. Burger King looks terrified at the death skeleton figure. 17. A Spanish conquistador rowing the boat. 18. Uncle Sam goes blind. 19. Wendy’s to go bag. 20. Mickey Mouse praying. 21. The Virgin and Child with smartphone and credit cards. 22. Starbucks hugging Sponge Bob Square Pants. 23. Ronald McDonald having so much fun in this trip. 24. Walmart worker rowing the boat towards the land of opportunity and prosperity. 25. Donald Trump controlling the satellite dish mass media apparatus. 26. Tony the Tiger from Kellogg’s, the American transnational food company. 27. A Spanish caravel and an oil rig seen on the horizon, symbols of colonial and corporate power. 28. Benjamin Franklin, found on the $100 US dollar bill, smoking implies a tie with Mr. Monopoly’s act. 29. Ulysses S. Grant, found on the $50 US dollar bill, smoking a joint. 30. Thomas Jefferson, found on the $20 US dollar bill. 31. Alexander Hamilton, found on the $10 US dollar bill

    On this oil and gold leaf on triptych panel, three main characters are depicted, inspired by Catholic iconography and ancient myths. On the central panel, we see Saint George mounted on his horse and attacking “the dragon”, which in this case is represented by a crocodile. This depicts a slightly different version of the “hero vs monster” we are all familiar with, as the human characters kill, victimize and subdue the animals they encounter. In the background factories, a circus, a fast food restaurant and other signs of human “Progress” spread across the landscape. A dodo bird, Tasmamian wolf, orangutan and shark, all animal species that have either become extinct at the hands of humans or are in danger of becoming extinct due to human activities. On the pinnacle above, a golden medal is inscribed with a diagram and drawing of a woman and greeting man. Similar to the golden disc attached to the Nasa’s Voyager 1 launched in 1977 into deep space, this serves as a reminder of what may be the first thing an alien civilization sees from us, their first impression. Under the disc, a human skull and on each side, two cosmic serpents (light and darkness) face each other as if to decide which one will swallow the “golden egg”. On the left side panel, Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune spins the wheel while standing over a nuke. The nuke lies on top of a dark globe with zeros and ones (Computer Code). An inscription in Latin below reads FORTUNAM IGNORAMUS (We Ignore Fortune). That is to say, we really can’t foretell our future. A small gas masked cherub holds a sword pointing toward some nuclear explosions that can be seen in the distance. Above Fortuna, a circuit–like brain and a banner that reads in Latin JUSTIVIAM HISTORIA NOSCET NON (History doesn’t know Justice). The statement is accompanied by plant designs that frame the composition. On the the right side panel, Cronus or father time holds a scythe and an hour glass. He stands over a dark globe containing variations of the letters GCTA, the Human Genome-wide complex trait sequence. The insciption below EVOLUTIO CONSTANS (Evolution is constant) indicates the continuity of human evolution. Nothing stays the same as is suggested by the banner above TEMPUS NEMINEM MANET CARPE DIEM (Time doesn’t remain still so seize the day). A double–helix symbol, suggestive of genetics, is flanked by animals that for millennia have thrived, evolved, and disappeared. As the side panels close, a six–fold depiction of five major mass extinction events that have occurred and one about to occur to humanity, if we keep our current consumerist plague like habits at this rate on this planet.

    Aganyu is, in the Afro Caribbean Santeria and Yoruba religion, the name for the Orisha or God of Volcanoes, deserts and rivers. Being also the Orisha that protects travelers and migrants, he became associated with St. Cristopher, the Catholic patron saint who carries baby Jesus across a river and takes care of all travelers. This syncretism has a powerful significance on contemporary Latin American culture as people migrate north while holding on to their beliefs and traditions. In this depiction of the saint/orisha, our main character is dressed up as a wrestler and holds an open book with drawings of migrants on a pickup and Saint Christopher carrying baby Jesus over his shoulder. An inscription in Latin reads: “Desertos, Montanas E Fluvios Transimus. A Terram Fatali.” (We shall cross deserts, mountains and rivers so we may get to the Promised Land). On the wrestlers belt, we see an image of Atlas holding the celestial sphere (Strength or Endurance) and a Coyote (Cunning) two attributes that will allow the migrants to overcome any obstacles. On Aganyu’s chest, a tattooed Lady of Guadalupe connects his syncretic/hybrid nature with other deities sharing similar convergences of significant spiritual traditions, redefining the identity of those who hold these images sacred. Running across the southwestern road behind, Speedy Gonzalez references our constructed cultural stereotypes from Pop culture. On the upper right segment of the painting a Tarot card painted on wood displays the Arcana 19, The Sun, which signifies harmony, security and new beginnings. Aganyu, es el nombre del Orisha o dios de de los volcanes, desiertos y ríos en la santería afro caribeña y la religión Yoruba. Siendo también el Orisha que protege a viajeros y migrantes, se asoció con San Cristóbal, el santo patrón católico que lleva al niño Jesús a través de un río y cuida a todos los viajeros. Este sincretismo tiene un poderoso significado en la cultura latinoamericana contemporánea a medida que las personas migran hacia el norte mientras se aferran a sus creencias y tradiciones. En esta representación del santo/orisha, nuestro personaje principal está vestido como un luchador y sostiene un libro abierto con dibujos de migrantes en una camioneta y San Cristóbal llevando al niño Jesús sobre su hombro. Una inscripción en latín dice: “Desertos, Montanas E Fluvios Transimus. A Terram Fatal”i. (Cruzaremos desiertos, montañas y ríos para llegar a la Tierra Prometida). En el cinturón de luchador vemos una imagen de Atlas sosteniendo la esfera celeste (fuerza o resistencia) y un Coyote (astucia) dos atributos que permitirán a los migrantes superar cualquier obstáculo. En el pecho de Aganyu, una Señora de Guadalupe tatuada conecta su naturaleza sincrética / híbrida con otras deidades que comparten convergencias similares de tradiciones espirituales significativas, redefiniendo al final la identidad de aquellos que sostienen estas imágenes sagradas. Al cruzar la carretera del sudoeste, Speedy González hace referencia a nuestros estereotipos culturales derivados de la cultura pop. En el segmento superior derecho de la pintura, una carta de Tarot pintada en madera muestra el Arcana 19, El Sol, que significa armonía, seguridad y nuevos comienzos. -Patrick McGrath Muniz

    Artist Statement 2016, 2017 and 2018 marked a turning point at a personal level and my new work is a reflection of that. In August of 2016 my mother suffered a terrible car accident in Puerto Rico that almost ended with her life. She miraculously survived but the experience and aftermath dramatically changed our lives. As a family we learned a lesson in the constant flux and fragility of life, death and the things that matter most in life. In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, devastating the island, leaving many without power, water and homes. Over 3,000 people died as a consequence of this natural disaster but also because of the government inept mishandling of the situation. My mother lost her house and our childhood home in Aguadilla. I lost my studio which was located nearby and housed most of my early work. After these events, my notion of home, the things I valued most and views in life, were all challenged. After experiencing Hurricane Harvey in Houston, where I now reside, witnessing the aftermath of Maria in Puerto Rico and Irma in Florida, where most of my family and friends live, the issue of Climate Change became personal. After reading the IPCC report and seeing the rapid reversal of policies and regulations destined to alleviate the crisis, Climate Change already seems inevitable. Despair is not an uncommon feeling for those of us watching the house burn down or swept away by the winds. In June, 2018, my son Francis was born. Perhaps it is human nature to seek light in the darkness, to hold on to hope, to evolve and aspire to become an instrument for positive change by starting a constructive dialogue. This is what inspired and gave birth to my latest oil paintings on canvas and triptych panels. The current body of work aims not only at reinterpreting some of the ancient myths and religious narratives within the environmental context. The satirical anachronisms reflecting on colonialism, consumerism and climate change are still very much present in my work. I’m also inspired by Science, Religion, Mythology, Tarot, Alchemy and Astrology. But at this point, my paintings are also driven by personal introspection, a questioning of our presumed human fictions that lead us to this point and a deep interest on how these issues have affected me, my family and friends. So, we may wish to ask ourselves: How do we adapt and deal with the sense of loss and chaos in a world already enduring the consequences of a changing climate? How can Art respond to and channel our anxieties and fears in a time defined by so much social turmoil and an environmental doomsday scenario that’s already at our doorstep? 2016, 2017 y 2018 marcaron un punto de inflexión a nivel personal y mi nuevo trabajo es un reflejo de eso. En agosto de 2016, mi madre sufrió un terrible accidente automovilístico en Puerto Rico que casi termina con su vida. Ella sobrevivió milagrosamente, pero la experiencia y las consecuencias cambiaron dramáticamente nuestras vidas. Como familia aprendimos una lección sobre el flujo constante y fragilidad de la vida, muerte y las cosas que más importan en la vida. En septiembre de 2017, el huracán María tocó a Puerto Rico, devastando la isla, dejando a muchos sin electricidad, agua y hogares. Más de 3.000 personas murieron como consecuencia de este desastre natural, pero también debido al manejo inepto de la situación por parte del gobierno. Mi madre perdió su casa y nuestra casa de la infancia en Aguadilla. Perdí mi estudio que estaba ubicado cerca y albergaba la mayor parte de mi obra temprana. Después de estos eventos, mi noción de hogar, las cosas que más valoré y mi perspectiva personal cambiaron. Después de experimentar el huracán Harvey en Houston, donde ahora vivo, presenciando las secuelas de María en Puerto Rico e Irma en Florida, donde vive la mayoría de mis familiares y amigos, el tema del cambio climático se volvió personal. Después de leer el informe del IPCC y ver la rápida reversión de las políticas y regulaciones destinadas a aliviar la crisis, el cambio climático ya parece inevitable. La desesperación no es una sensación poco común para aquellos de nosotros que vemos cómo la casa se incendia o es arrastrada por los vientos. En junio de 2018 nació mi hijo Francis. Tal vez sea la naturaleza humana buscar luz en la oscuridad, aferrarse a la esperanza, evolucionar y aspirar a convertirse en un instrumento para un cambio positivo iniciando un diálogo constructivo. Esto es lo que inspiró y dio a luz mis más recientes pinturas al óleo sobre lienzo y paneles trípticos. La obra actual apunta no solo a reinterpretar algunos de los mitos antiguos y narrativas religiosas dentro del contexto ambiental. Los anacronismos satíricos que reflejan el colonialismo, el consumismo y el cambio climático se encuentran aun muy presentes en mi trabajo. También me inspiran la ciencia, la religión, la mitología, el tarot, la alquimia y la astrología. Pero en este punto, mis pinturas también están impulsadas por la introspección personal, un cuestionamiento de nuestras presuntas ficciones humanas que nos han llevado a este punto y un profundo interés en cómo estos problemas me han afectado a mí, a mi familia y amigos. Entonces, podremos preguntarnos: ¿Cómo nos adaptamos y enfrentamos la sensación de pérdida y caos en un mundo que ya está sufriendo las consecuencias de un clima cambiante? ¿Cómo puede el arte responder y canalizar nuestras ansiedades y miedos en un momento definido por tanta inestabilidad social y un escenario de fin del mundo ambiental que ya está a nuestras puertas? —Patrick McGrath Muñiz

    Patrick McGrath Muñiz is an American artist from Puerto Rico, who works primarily with oil paintings on canvas and retablos. His work is inspired after Renaissance, Baroque and Latin American colonial paintings while addressing issues such as colonialism, consumerism and climate change. The artist has shown at the Museo de las Americas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Museo Convento de las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona, The Fort Worth Community Arts Center, The Bronx Museum of Art, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, The Albuquerque Museum of Art in Albuquerque, NM, The Station Museum and The Jung Center in Houston, Texas, among others. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003 and a Masters Degree (Suma Cum Laude) from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006. Patrick’s work can be found at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, in Mesa, Arizona, as well as a number of private collections in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Patrick now lives in Houston, TX with his wife, Blanca and their son, Francis. Patrick McGrath Muñiz es un artista estadounidense de Puerto Rico, que trabaja principalmente con pinturas al óleo sobre lienzo y retablos. Su obra está inspirada en las pinturas coloniales renacentistas, barrocas y latinoamericanas mientras aborda temas como el colonialismo, el consumismo y el cambio climático. El artista ha mostrado en el Museo de las Américas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Museo Convento de las Capuchinas en Antigua, Guatemala, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Mesa en Arizona, Centro de Arte Comunitario Fort Worth, Museo de Arte del Bronx, Museo de Arte Colonial Español en Santa Fe, Museo de Arte de Albuquerque en Albuquerque, NM, El Station Museum y The Jung Center en Houston, Texas, entre otros. Obtuvo una Licenciatura (Magna Cum Laude) en Bellas Artes de la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Juan, Puerto Rico en 2003 y una Maestría (Suma Cum Laude) de la Savannah College of Art and Design en 2006. El trabajo de Patrick puede se encuentra en el Museo de Arte e Historia de Albuquerque, el Museo de Arte Colonial Español en Santa Fe, Nuevo México y el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Mesa, en Mesa, Arizona, así como en una serie de colecciones privadas en los Estados Unidos, Europa, el Caribe y América Latina. Patrick ahora vive en Houston, TX con su esposa, Blanca y su hijo, Francis.