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Patrick McGrath Muniz
at Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Michael Abatemarco


Continuing through June 19, 2012


Much of the success of Patrick McGrath Muñiz’s “Saints, Heroes, and Corporations” rests on understanding today's world through the same filter of myth serving as the subject for our art since time immemorial. It’s in the confluence of the modern and ancient worlds of his “Aquae Sanctus,” a triptych done in the style of a religious icon where plumbing is as much a feature as an exotic god or demon. The pop imagery delights at first, but there is a suggestion of seriousness in the subject matter. Yes, in today's world we can carry our icons with us not in prayer books but on cell phones. That fact, made apparent in such images as “Neo-Colonial Apps,” seems incongruous but also inevitable. 


Paintings like “Save Me From Hollywood” and “The Abduction,” despite the preponderance of Disney characters and other cartoon personalities like Spongebob Squarepants, are too pointedly cynical to be anything other than an indictment of the state of things. This is a show that asks you to dig beneath the surface of otherwise familiar imagery to the message beneath.

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