Muñoz Hernandez credits growing up in Boyle Heights with his lifelong love of art. He was especially inspired by the perfect swagger in the painting and drawing of graffiti and the shared space activated by murals, but at the same time, he was deeply interested in expressive abstraction in a gallery sense. After being selected by world-renowned sculptor Robert Graham to join the MOCA’s “Torso Project” in 1992, Muñoz Hernandez joined the Robert Graham Studio and continues to work there today — which among other things, also sparked an interest in sculpture.
As his works range in materials from acrylic, ink, paper, wood, and canvas, to cast and fabricated bronze, Muñoz Hernandez has refined a special language of abstract compositions that juxtapoz graffiti-derived geometric, architectural shapes with expressive, cosmic spaces and palettes. In Sound of Color (which opens June 30 in Venice) Muñoz Hernandez showcases works made in 2020 and 2021 blending colors and materials in optically charged ways that speak to the volatile psychological energy of the past year.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
MUÑOZ HERNANDEZ: As a child I realized I had an inclination for creativity; out of necessity I would make my own toys out of mud.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
I am creating a visual equivalent of the human relationship to the dynamic of nature.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would be dust again.
Did you go to art school? Why/why not?
Life has been my art school.
When was your first show?
My first show was a group show at the Pico House more than 30 years ago.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show?
Sound of Color, a solo show at my Venice studio — a 2-story loft space in a renovated mid-century Coca-Cola factory — opens June 30.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show with?
Leonardo da Vinci, Robert Graham.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
Yes I listen to Jazz, Rock, and the sound of nature.
Website and social media handles, please!