Ben Muñoz: Selections From the Endless Endeavor

“Carving big is fun but if you can’t find a press large enough to print when the time comes everyone will hate you including yourself.”

Ben Muñoz spent 15 months carving six 8’ x 4’ foot panels for a series of prints depicting the history of his family starting with his grandfather coming to this country from Mexico City and ending with the birth of his daughters while exploring the generations in between using imagery and composition to tell the story.

“The problem we ran into was that we had bought Lennox paper for printing on a press, but when the time came we couldn’t find a press large enough to print them. At least not one that was close and would work with our timeline. We ended up running the edition by hand which was as fun as it sounds.”

In Selections From the Endless Endeavor, portions of Munoz’ enormous prints are mounted and are hung as three-dimensional wall pieces. “Before the final edition was pulled from The Endless Endeavor blocks I made several smaller prints of the images that carried a lot of meaning for my family and I. These images were strong enough to stand on their own away from the rest of the print. Some of these images I felt were overshadowed by the magnitude of the print it was a part of.”

In The Genesis, an Aztec vessel with the head of Tlaloc sits atop a hill, while a fist clenching a T-shirt rises above. “My grandfather immigrated to the U.S. in 1950 and crossed the Rio Grande with his clothes in hand, above his head, to stay dry. The current was so strong that it pulled off his underwear and he emerged on the other side naked. It was a rebirth of sorts, into a completely different world.” The fist splits the U.S. flag in the foreground and the Mexican flag recedes to the background. “It’s a show of power, tenacity and survival that transcends the borders that divide. My grandfather never stopped working to better the lives of his children.”

“My ceiling is my daughter’s floor; and because we will always have children to create a better future for, the endeavor is endless.”

Selections From the Endless Endeavor will open Friday, June 28, 6-8pm and will be on view through July 21.

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