Jaime Muñoz

Domestic Labour.

Jaime Muñoz (he/him) was born in Los Angeles, California, and currently lives and works in Pomona.

Exhibitions

Muñoz has exhibited worldwide, in locations such as Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and Berlin.

In print

Featured in publications including the LA Times, KCET’s “Artbound”, and Art of Choice, Los Angeles.

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Collaborations with this artist

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Practice overview

Jaime Muñoz deftly reveals the “myth of modernity.” His multimedia paintings are digitally designed, then constructed by hand on bespoke wood panels using paper, glitter, texture paste and acrylic paint. The compositions mix decorative motifs with grid-like structures which represent mathematics and construction — informed by time spent working as a manual labourer. This time made the artist particularly aware of class and racial inequality – seeing a predominantly immigrant workforce deeply undervalued and underpaid. Compelled to understand the histories that led to this point, Muñoz studied the development of American capitalism, which came to be the main subject of his practice. Existence (2019), for example, includes machinery from the 19th century Industrial Revolution as a symbol for the ways in which low paid workers have, throughout history, been treated as machines. While predominantly a painter, Muñoz also works across drawing, ceramics and film. His works fuse ancient and contemporary references – from Spanish Catholic iconography which subverts its colonialist legacies to Toyota car logos which symbolise working class immigrant culture in America.

In Muñoz’ art the personal and political collide. Blood memory is a key concept for the artist, rooted in pre-Columbian history and his Chicano identity. “I recognise that I’ve inherited inter-generational traumas through my blood memory: a source of suffering that has been passed down through the generations of my family.” In works like Madre (2019) the artist nods to his family histories by depicting the Aztec goddess of Earth, Coatlicue. Instead of celebrating notions of ‘progress’ and ‘productivity’ as defined by the American Dream, the painting — emblematic of Muñoz’s entire practice — foregrounds spirituality, ancestral knowledge and collective identity.

“My reflections have led me to understand the nature of colonialism and the ways that it has shaped the myth of modernity”Jaime Muñoz