Maya Muñoz (b.1972)
signed (lower right) dated 2016
oil on canvas
70” x 48” (178 cm x 122 cm)
Maya Munoz is a Neo Expressionist. Munoz creates work that affirms the redemptive power of painting, what with how she depicts her subjects in an almost raw and brutish manner, manifesting in her frequently large-scale works austere, yet highly textural and expressive brushwork using contemplative colors. Her subjects range from agitated faceless portraits to singular figures with indistinct features to expressions of her moorings — Maya herself is an artist who works and commutes between two places she calls home: Manila and Bicol.
Her first time to exhibit in Manila was in the Lopez Museum no less, and the 2011 show featured a massive quadriptych, Coming and Going, that dealt with exile and home. She started this piece after she had done a series of drawings that depicted either Ninoy Aquino on the tarmac or a triumphant Manny Pacquiao, two hometown heroes who have had to leave home to achieve glory. Munoz’ paintings reflect how she situates herself within a particular scenario. Just like Munoz’ Manila or Bicol, the subject in the painting, John Baron, comes close to the artist’s moorings. It’s a portrait of her brother.
“John Baron” contrasts sharply to Maya Munoz' haunting, agitated faceless portraits. There is an off kilter quality to Maya Munoz’ work, which ranges from enigmatic faceless paintings that are as eerie as they are compelling to turbulent, atmospheric compositions whose quirky themes imbue the everyday with a hauntingly agitated presence.
Maya Muñoz studied in San Jose State University in California. Her works have been displayed in diverse spaces in the US, China, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Europe and in Manila since 2000, particularly in art fairs such as ART Singapore, Dubai Art Fair, SCOPE Miami and Bridge Art Fair New York.