(TW: Violence) Interview with artist Dabyran Muñoz

A: Dabyran, when did you first begin to make art, and to paint?
D: I have always been interested in art noticing my inclinations more specifically around the age of 12 I’d spend late summer nights drawing, painting & writing with the company of some music.

A: Who is depicted in your painting? 
D: In this painting I chose to depict a black body. I wanted to keep the illustration androgynous so as to commemorate not only the men but also women victimized by police brutality in this country.  

A: The painting is priced at $1,619. Does the price have any special significance? D: I did not necessarily want to part ways with the painting as it is one special to me I set it comfortably at a price I felt would not sell at.  The number 1619 is to allude to the year in which the first enslaved Africans arrived in the colonies and to help reframe how we view our relationship to the past now in 2021. As a singular work in the exhibit I needed even the price to support the message.

A: Is there an audience you visualized who would see the work?
D: I was initially supposed to have my painting shown at a cafe in New Paltz, NY. Only after getting to the manager was the painting rejected and sent back to me. I wanted the work to be seen by EVERYONE and it’s in these types of establishments like a coffee shop where so many go unexpectedly waiting for their lattes to find a radical work of art in their face.  I want to make people uncomfortable and face the harsh truth. If it were up to me I would have the work up in the middle of town though with fear it would be torn down.  Nonetheless I thank the team at Celebrate 845 for giving me a platform to showcase my work as this is my first show outside of New Paltz campus and I’m delighted to be a part of the roster of artists. 

A: Would you consider yourself to be a threat of violence or harm to others?
D: I am in no way a threat of violence or harm to others. The Police are the threat, these so called authority figures are a menace to the black community and minorities alike. ‘Blue Lives Matter’ say what you really mean..- that Black Lives don’t. THIS is the narrative they help perpetuate, the police and those who rally around to protect and ‘back the blue’.  Even after countless occurrences not only recently, not just in 2020 this has gone on since before I was born and will continue until we cause a scene.  That’s exactly what we saw in the rioting over the past year and certain parties want to speak on the issue and dwell on a Wendy’s set ablaze but why aren’t we addressing what’s really going on with the police and how we are going to defund or abolish because whatever reformation we been flirting with the idea of has scarcely been seen. 

A: How is the creation of art significant at this time?  D: The creation of art is intrinsic to every community of every civilized society as it can be used as a tool for change, spark debate and shake things up when society chooses ignorance over progression.

Blue Lives Matter- Say What You Really- Say What You Really Mean

“Blue Lives Matter- Say What You Really Mean” 2021, acrylic on faux leather, by Dabryan Muñoz

Special thank you to Jamie Sanin, founder of Celebrate845, who helped produce the “Freedom Dreams” exhibition at Arts Society of Kingston.

“Freedom Dreams” exhibition runs June 5 – June 27 at The Arts Society of Kingston, located at 97 Broadway in Kingston, NY.


One thought on “(TW: Violence) Interview with artist Dabyran Muñoz

  1. ronmwangaguhunga says:

    That’s an incredibly powerful painting. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all morning.

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