High Life for a Low Life

The Works of Jaime “FLAN” Muñoz

backSPACE, March 9 – April 15, 2013

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About the Show

FLAN articulates his concepts on many levels. His exploration of textile design is apparent, symbols collected from daily life, religious experiences abound. Messages from his cultural environment as a child and adult are interspersed within this work. At times a parallel is hinted upon between religion and the corporate Americas. The work is bright, fascinatingly detailed and thought provoking. Previously mentored by Assad Faulwell, FLAN’s meticulous design only hints at Faulwell ideals, and has a fascinating life of its own. FLAN was written about recently in Juxtapoz magazine.

Christina Long, SPACE Gallery

Exhibition curated by Hali LeCat.

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Artist Statement

I am a painter who paints images that reflect my experience growing up in Southern California. Some of the main concepts that I focus on in my work revolve around the common issues within cultural identity, painting as a form of technology, childhood experiences, and the saturated media. I focus on these points because these concepts I believe are what formed and continue to form the identity of who I am today and in the future. In my paintings I articulate these concepts through the exploration of textile designs, symbols collected from religious experiences, and symbols collected from the various people and environments I grew up in, particularly with graffiti and the local gangs. Some of these symbols include, the cross, the three dotted, “mi vida loca” (my crazy life), and the symbols and patterns that were commonly scribbled on school desks and class tests of any “average” kid I grew up with.

I use the cartoon character as a major reference point to my childhood and my career as an “artist”. I then focus on other issues such as the saturated media or cultural identity that can then tie into the character that I choose for the painting. For example, in the painting of the bear baker titled “Bimbo”, I explore my relationship to my culture through a Mexican product. This logo that I was so familiar with through the experiences of going with my mother to to super markets that marketed towards latinos and products that marketed towards kids was some of my earliest memories of me really identifying with my culture in an environment outside of my home or the spanish speaking hour at the closest church or the ESL group at school. Then by countering the corporations marketing strategy I enjoy de-idealizing the logo of the cute bear baker dressed in bright white. I do so by adding stains to his clothes, socially unacceptable hair on his chest, and unprofessional tattoo on his arm while at the same time referencing the Loony-Toons face card with Porky pig saying at the end of every show, “da da dats ol folks”.

Jaime “FLAN” Muñoz, Artist

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