The works of self-taught artist Philip Muñoz are concerned with the notion of glamour and its role in female social identity. He is keenly interested in the idea of beauty through transformation and is particularly engaged by the highly personalised looks adorned by so many women today. Often seductive and always demanding of attention, one is drawn in, yet inevitably kept emotionally and physically at a distance. In particular, the temporary and fragile nature of the make-up often used to conjure up such effects, forces one to play the role of voyeur, never fully engaging with the illusion.


Having graduated with a degree in biochemistry at the University of Bristol, Muñoz turned his attentions to art and has been a resident of Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol since 2007. Drawn to the vibrant and youthful, care-free characters that are seen every day outside the doors of his studio, Muñoz has increasingly focused on creating portraits and figures immersed in the urban context, whether a close-up examination of the glamorous and modified, adorned with tattoos and piercings, or a figure caught in a fleeting moment of city life. His is an intimate portrayal of the eclectic, where fashion and identity are of foremost importance.


Within this world, tattoos are of particular interest. Traditionally the trademark of masculine rebellion, they have now been embraced by the world of art, fashion and glamour, redefining them as an art form in their own right, independent of age, sex or class. From imagining, to design, execution and rendering on skin, light and subsequent paint, across a multitude of media and surfaces, paying homage to their existence has become a pivotal feature of much of his recent work.


Within the framework of his hyperrealist technique, Muñoz explores the use of paint, mark-making and surface texture to produce paintings that have a life that is more than purely an image on a screen.