Juan Muniz Unmasks The Flower Pepper
Exit Down The Rabbit Hole
“It’s a party, it’s a party it’s a PARTY!” – Waka Flocka Flame; Grove St. Party
The e-mail from Flower Pepper Gallery said nothing of the sort. So of course I was very pleased to walk in just in time for a scene of fun, photographs, birthday cake and laughs!
It wasn’t long before I got into the mix of things and recalled how I recently published my own Down The Rabbit Hole series of blogs not too long ago in March, 2013.
A good friend of the featured artist, Juan Muniz, named Ron was celebrating his birthday on the same night as the Opening Reception of Exit Down The Rabbit Hole.
I had planned to be taking a walk in the park and sipping wine by candle-light that evening but was redirected to the Flower Pepper Gallery as I was shaving and showering.
It is interesting how things always work out for me. There is something interesting to do no matter what. And as I was getting ready, reviewed the Flower Pepper invitation.
I remembered that I really wanted to go to this opening because the idea of “wrestling with modern life” and cartoon characters is intensely personal to me.
I tend to see myself as a comic book and cartoon character who is constantly wrestling with life in general. Both modern and antiquated.
But this is just one of the many masks that I wear. I take pleasure in performing and am not weighed down by “identity”, or to be myself or to be natural. I’m naturally eccentric.
One of the easiest people to find was Juan Muniz. Completely unmasked, and naturally so, I walked up and introduced myself.
It is beautiful to meet such incredibly talented artists who are so open, friendly and accepting of everyone; including “strangers”.
My friend Lis showed up to Exit Down The Rabbit Hole totally by coincidence as she was walking by and noticed me through the window.
She remarked later that evening about how friendly and open I am with everyone. This was right after we met Cedric and his twin-brother, both bartenders from 72 North.
I just can’t help walking up to all the wonderful, interesting, talented and beautiful people in the world to say hello, no matter how painful it is inside. Just one of the masks.
But it is a very helpful mask to wear. A lot of the masks that people wear are pretty obvious to me. So much so that it looks a lot like a giant rabbit head.
I certainly feel like my own are that obvious. But I wear them anyway because they do the job; like an IronMan suit does the trick as flashy as it is.
As I looked around the gallery at Juan’s simple yet very meaningful collection on display, I felt like much of it was directed at me specifically.
Like “Sometimes Sorry Just Isn’t Enough“.
I very much appreciated how Juan Muniz’s work captured so much of the emotions I feel at times. I have been feeling a lot like a bullet has been shot through my heart lately.
I had not taken any hallucinagenic drugs in many, many years. So when I started having flashbacks I was a bit concerned until I realized it was a few of Juan’s concepts.
I took a brief Exit Down The Rabbit Hole into nostalgia from this captivating collection of diverse, colorful, playful, meaningful and deeply thought inspiring artwork!
“Smurf In A Box“
“Care Bear State“
“Ouch Lil’ Pony“
The owner of Flower Pepper Gallery, Huan, insisted several times that I enjoy some cake. I eventually bent to her will and indulged.
It was some of the best cake ever. It was a customized, high-quality cake that is the norm at Flower Pepper Gallery events I have attended before.
Right across from the birthday cake was a small beautifully framed piece. I had met a few people in the gallery. One of them was Katherine.
“I Guess Not“
Katherine was holding her very beautiful and contented baby girl in her arms the whole night. I did not realize until I saw the name Katherine Muniz attached to “I Guess Not” that I realized she was the lovely wife of Juan!
And of course, speaking of lovely, I could not say that I have really lived to my fullest on any particular day until I have made some new beautiful friends. The joys of life!
Right after I met these two marvelous artist and designer ladies, Francesca and Melissa, I noticed that Juan Muniz was focused with a black marker and a white blank page in front of him.
He was busy cranking out original sketches of his primary character, the androgynous ‘Felipe’, who is the usual wearer of the rabbit suit and mask.
It was then that I decided I absolutely must have one of these myself and quickly got an autographed print to take away for my personal collection.
Exit Down The Rabbit Hole is going to be at Flower Pepper Gallery until July 12th, which gives you plenty of time to get your hands on some of Juan Muniz’s art!
Flower Pepper Gallery is open from Tuesday thru Saturday, 11:30am until 7:30pm and on Sunday from 11;30am until 6pm. Call 626-795-1895 for more info or WebSite.
A little earlier, Francesca had mentioned how the wine could help bring out her accent. A bit later my friend Lis mentioned that it was really good wine from the labels.
I am not much of an expert on these things so I decided to follow her lead and let her pour me a glass. It was freakin’ delicious for sure and induced a sweet and spicy buzz!
As usual, I get everything I wish for. There were candles on the cake, I drank some wine, and I even took a walk when I escorted my friend home in the dark.
Talk about having your cake and eating it too! And on the way home, just to top it all off, a few young and pretty artists gave me a wonderful little note to pass on!
It is nice to know that there are people who find me to be a work of art and are willing to reach out and let me know that I please their senses.
And when you take a trip out to the Flower Pepper Gallery from now until the 12th of July 2013, your senses will certainly be pleased and your thoughts provoked by the fascinating collection of art on display by Juan Muniz.
Tucked into the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Union Street in Old Town Pasadena is a small art station called the Flower Pepper Gallery.
For more info and to stay up to date about events and exhibitions call 626-795-1895 and more detailed info from the site http://www.Flower-Pepper.com