Roberto Munguia

I think spiritual vision and awareness are at the core of artistic expression. Art proceeds from spiritual foundations. My work is an extension of active spiritual dynamics, both personal and universal. I concern myself with responses to these insights and am developing the formal means to express them. Progress has come through intuitive path finding and a constant self-inquiring scrutiny of internal processes and spiritual necessities.

Sources and inspirations include biblical symbology and metaphor, abstract painting, and the poetic vision.


I grew up in south Texas and spent many hours as a child playing the popular Mexican game of Lotería. This game’s colorful imagery has always delighted me and still triggers many fond associations and memories.

These images have found their way into a lot of regional contemporary art stemming from, but not restricted to, the Latino community. Because of its seemingly ubiquitous presence I had for many years avoided using the stock of easily accessible Lotería images; that is until I was invited to participated in the Lo del Corazón exhibition originating at San Francisco’s Mexican Museum and traveling to several southwestern locations between 1983-85. I used the images of El Corazón, the heart, and La Muerte, death, in a collage entitled A.I.D.S.. Since then, I have used Lotería in many collage drawings and paintings.

I began the Lotería Series in 1993 in an attempt to deal with these images more directly. I have tried to extend my personal associations toward a grander, more universal statement where lotería becomes a metaphor for the world and our lives. The scope of these works, predominantly collage and watercolor, extends over several areas including reflective biographical pieces. Rather than avoiding Lotería’s popularity, I embrace it as a means of proceeding toward a more easily accessible, yet personal, artistic statement.


(From the Lotería Series)

I have a personal connection with the Mexican game of Lotería. As a child I spent many hours playing with my friends and family, and these are fond memories. I have used images from Lotería for over twenty years, but have only recently (1993) taken a more serious look at the creative possibilities inherent in these pictures. La Puerta refers to the opening of their symbolic possibilities. Through this door I have explored various personal and historic concerns, and have used different processes to reveal and obscure meaning.





This painting is visually dense and confronts the viewer with an aggressive surface and smoldering colors. There are many layers of encaustic wax on this panel. These are recovered to the surface through a series of processes such as gouging, beating, melting, or scratching. For me, it is the purely intuitive insight seeking its own order.

A kyat is a small Burmese coin of little value.



This image was printed at Coronado Studio in Austin, Texas in 1998 and is part of an ongoing series. I have hand-colored through a three-color silkscreen with gouache and pencils in order to explore color harmony and the expressive possibilities of this composition. The border of this symmetrical double-image was adapted from a Byzantine mosaic found on the streets of Venice, and forms a canopy surrounding two identical and reversed forms.