Many artists and designers have a special place in their hearts for physical objects, and members of the ArtCenter community are no exception. To kick off this new series for Dot, we were delighted to speak with alumnus, artist and longtime professor Ramone Muñoz (BFA 77 Advertising; MFA 90 Art), who shared with us three of his favorite objects.
Los Angeles-native Muñoz has been making art since the early '70s, and his work—exploring issues revolving around geology, archaeology and the ephemeral nature of human civilization—has been exhibited internationally. As his artist bio states: "As buildings crumble and civilizations come and go, there is a poetic beauty in this reclamation process, one with which most human beings are at odds."
"This ceramic sculpture was created by Antonia Martinez Ribera Calleno, an artisan in the small village of Ocumicho in the Mexican state of Michoacán," says Muñoz, who purchased the below work in 1984 in the United States and whose fascination with Ocumichoan art led him to visit the village in 2017. "The artist may have been influenced by Marcelino Vicente, who introduced devils and other nontraditional sculptures to the village in the 1960s."
"These strange sculptures often warn young boys and girls to beware of devils trying to lead kids astray," says Muñoz. "This piece features girl devils tempting boys with pineapples. One boy sitting below seems not to be tempted—or is he already lost to the underworld? These fanciful tableaux are open to endless interpretations.”
"This was one of the first works of art I purchased fresh out of ArtCenter," says Muñoz of the below lithograph by Swiss artist and architect Le Corbusier, part of a series he created for a 1959 exhibit in Paris titled Poeme de l’Angle Droit (Poem of the Right Angle). "The 'open hand,' which appears in many of Le Corbusier’s works represents 'Peace and Reconciliation.'"
Muñoz says that he's studied Le Corbusier most of his adult life and has visited many of his important works, including the city of Chandigarh, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. "Le Corbusier was an accomplished artist, and his views on architecture and city planning as a way of solving social problems has always appealed to me," he adds.
"I was moved by this work because, until recently, it was uncommon to see Black males painted in such a direct way," says Muñoz of Los Angeles artist Peter Liashkov's below painting Man. Well known for his figurative and abstract depictions of people, Liashkov painted Man in the late 1990s. The work depicts a rear view of a nude adult male of African ancestry, who wears a small gold chain.
"The chain around his neck accentuates the beauty and refinement of Liashkov’s stoic figure," Muñoz says. "It also reminded me of many of Manet’s more controversial paintings such as Olympia, first exhibited in 1865. "