On Art

Cruz y Ficcion(es), by Patrick McGrath Muñiz

Patrick McGrath Muñiz’s art knocks you off balance. It tests or mocks your religious sensibilities. In Cruz y Ficcion(es), for example, he’s replaced the label above the head of the Crucified One with “FREEMAN,” with the letters F-E-M-A popping out. Christ is nailed to a partially destroyed electrical post. The border features paper towels and other items the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be expected to supply after a disaster. FEMA notably failed in responding to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year. The disaster was personal for Muñiz, whose family lives on the island. The large oil on canvas work both echoes and subverts the paintings of the old masters. “By appropriating figures and icons present in art history, pop culture, Christian iconography, and mythology, I now create nautical scenes that mirror my own experience living in a world of stronger storms, hurricanes, and floods.” He says he wants his art to “start a conversation about what it means to be living in the Anthropocene” and to shed light on how capitalism and consumerism alter our views of “history, nature and ourselves.”