Patrick McGrath Muñiz: Arcanas Neocolonial Retablos inspired after Tarot


Patrick McGrath Muniz, DESENCUENTROS (2023) Oil on triptych panel 36 x 19.5 inches

"We live in a world influenced by tradition and innovation," says McGrath Muñiz. " Through my art, I aim to bridge the gap between the past and the present, inviting viewers to reflect on the influences that shape our lives and the narratives that define us."

Renowned artist Patrick McGrath Muñiz’s exhibition, Arcanas: Neocolonial Retablos Inspired by Tarot, is his first exhibition at Taller Puertorriqueño. Curated by Daniel de Jesús, this show features 30 new artworks. 

By commandeering figures and icons from the tarot, Spanish colonial iconography, and pop culture, the artist recreates scenes that mirror his experience living in a world impacted by the onslaught of digital communication and information, climate change, social inequality, and the global pandemic. After losing his home and studio in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the issue of climate change became even more personal for McGrath Muñiz. Among the very few possessions the artist could salvage before the storm, there was a 30-year-old deck of tarot cards, which later inspired him to create his first deck of cards. The incredible loss of years of work and memories imbued the artist with a renewed sense of responsibility to retell our current global paradigm not only through new drawings, paintings, and altarpieces but also in the form of tarot cards now published by US games.

McGrath Muñiz’s distinctive style seamlessly blends bicultural and bilingual consumerist imagery with his signature Baroque-inspired painting technique. By visualizing our world in the Digital Age, he encourages viewers to explore the roots of our colonial past and gain a deeper understanding of how it shapes our present and future. 

About the Artist:

Patrick McGrath Muñiz (b. 1975) is from Puerto Rico, now living in Texas. McGrath Muñiz’s artwork consists of drawings, ‘retablo’ paintings, and tarot cards. The artist subsumes and merges figures and icons from Spanish colonial art, American pop culture, and tarot into layers mixed with personal myths and memories. His work reflects on the colonial roots of our current consumer culture.

McGrath Muñiz has shown at the Museo de las Americas, San Juan, PR, Museo Convento Las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, Arizona the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, TX, The Jung Center, Houston, TX, the Bronx Museum, NY, The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe, NM, The Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, NM, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR and Centro de Artes in San Antonio, TX. 

About the Curator:

Daniel de Jesús is a Philadelphia, PA-based curator, artist, musician, and educator. Over the last 15 years, de Jesús has organized and installed exhibitions of Latinx artists living and working in Philadelphia and Puerto Rico. From 2007–2011, they served as Taller Puertorriqueno’s Curator and Exhibitions Manager and, before transitioning to a new role as Taller’s Youth Artist Program Manager, they curated exhibitions featuring Juan Sanchez, Antonio Martorell, and Sofia Maldonado, among others. De Jesús currently serves as the Music Education & Community Relations Director for Artístas y Músicos Latinoamericanos at Esperanza, a Latin music school in the heart of North Philadelphia. They are a practicing multidisciplinary artist who works as a painter, composer, and songwriter versed in the worlds of visual and sonic tapestries.

Major funding for this exhibition and its programs was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional generous support was contributed by Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Connelly Foundation, Independence Foundation, Joseph Robert Foundation, PA Council on the Arts, Samuel S. Fels Fund & William Penn Foundation.
Patrick mcgrath muÑiz

Arcanas: Neocolonial Retablos inspired After Tarot

Exhibition Details

On VIew: AUGUST 11, 2023 - OCTOBER 21, 2023

Related Programs

Oracle & Arcana: Artist talk with patrick mcgrath muñiz and li sumpter
october 5, 2023 | 6:30 - 7:30PM
Opening Reception:
September 15, 2023 | 6:00 - 9:00PM