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interview by Linda Conard

M@donnas: Reinterpretations of the Image of Mary

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he work of artist Patrick McGrath Muñiz reveals connections between Spanish colonial art, mythology, the image of the Virgin Mary, consumerism and pop culture imagery. In M@donnas, his upcoming exhibition at La Antigua Galería de Arte, McGrath Muñiz offers a satirical look at how “economy and culture of former colonies have become heavily influenced and indoctrinated by new colonial powers, large trans-national corporations and the global market economy.” In an interview with Revue, McGrath Muñiz spoke about his art and the vision for this highly anticipated exhibition. 20

Rainbow Madonna. Oil on canvas, 30” x 30”

Revue: Your work presents viewers with traditional religious imagery, astrology, commercial logos and pop culture icons. How did you arrive at that combination? Muñiz: I travel a lot, especially in the Americas, and I started noticing that churches and fast-food restaurants seemed to use similar tactics, logos and distribution methods. The church indoctrinates the natives and disseminates propaganda. Corporations ruling the world economy imitate that same predictable system of logos and branding and disseminate consumerism pretty much the same way. I began to draw connections

between Spanish Colonial iconography, which is religious imagery, and the Neocolonial, which is pop culture, mass media culture, consumerism, Hollywood culture, etc. Gradually, I started to see more of a relationship between religion and Greco-Roman mythology, where you see Venus deriving from Aphrodite and Christian images of the Virgin Mary, sharing these pagan roots. I noticed even more connections among mythology, archetypal astrology, tarot and alchemy, and it became even more esoteric. I began to see archetypical significance to branding, logos and labels. These are universal patterns that repeat them-

Revue 2013-11  

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