Johann C. Muñoz was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1986. He lives and works in Miami, FL. Muñoz received a BFA in Painting from New World School of the Arts (2013). He is an educator at Art Box and a mentor for Guitars Over Guns, a 501(c)(3) arts nonprofit.

Recent works include Concerto on the River a sound performance at Kingman Island Park in Washington, D.C. (2018), funded by The Awesome Foundation. Exhibitions include Miami Zine Fair (2019); Activist Small Press Fair at Exile Books (2018); 23rd International Biennial in Gabrovo (2017). Collections include Museum House of Humour and Satire in Bulgaria, and Miami-Dade Public Library.

Artist Statement

Through a multidisciplinary practice of drawing, photography, sculpture, and aural installations, my work subverts reductive definitions of the Latin American diaspora.

Language naturally plays a significant role in these compositions. Words and phrases, often in Spanish, lyrical and slogan-like, are posed as observations on both my personal experience with displacement—migrating to the United States from Colombia—as well as the historical incidences of colonialism.

Primarily, I focus on the subaltern narrative. I incorporate linguistic elements into my work, appropriating “western communication and marketing strategies”, to underscore the influence of colonial histories in contemporary societies. At times, text can be read as an affectation, an attempt to assimilate into the mainstream(s); simultaneously, it reads independent, not tethered by the weight of postcolonial legacy. Veritas Fritas #1 (2019), roughly translated into “truth(s) fried”, illustrates this point. The imperceptible bright yellow font pushes against a similar yellow background. The message is hard to read, the “truth” is colorful yet obscured, veiled further by traces of smoke.

My work asks the viewer to reconsider the cultural significance of the Latin American region—subsequently, of other historically and systematically hegemonized regions too. The usage of unadulterated materials (including, metals and natural pigments) encourages this awareness, like in En el Dorado Solo Pulgas has Dejado (2019), where a gold leafed message faintly flickers right in the center of concentric circles amongst an overwhelming field of ink dots. This piece highlights the obstacles postcolonial societies experience after their resources have been, historically and systematically, appropriated by external dominant sociopolitical powers.

I also regard my role as an art educator crucial to my practice. Thinking of my teaching as a performative act through which I foster critical engagement and activation. I am an advocate of pedagogy that expands upon conversations regarding representation and encourage the public to participate.

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