Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán
Brown Eyes from Russell Street

Published by Sming Sming Books

ISBN 978-1-953189-12-7
July 2023, English and Spanish, 7 x 9 inches, 146 pages, full color, softcover
Design: Sming Sming Books

Includes a foreword by Vivian Sming, interviews with Pachi Muruchu and South Berkeley Guerrero, and text by Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán.

Inspired by his family, culture, and history, Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán depicts moments from his life experiences as recurring elements, alongside Mesoamerican imagery, Mexican icons, and the different environments he’s lived in. Brown Eyes from Russell Street traces Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán’s artistic practice during a transformative and critical period in his life—contending with isolation, mental health struggles, hospitalization, and alcoholism. The book doesn’t follow a strictly chronological path. It groups themes and time periods in Muñoz-Guzmán’s work, weaving together ideas, memories, thoughts that provide continual sources of reflection. It captures the range of his life experiences—growing up in South Berkeley, attending RISD, being diagnosed with bipolar, working in the agave fields of Tepatitlán, and staying connected to family. Whether the subject is community, depression, or agrarian life, Muñoz-Guzmán treats them with the same attention, care, and grace, recognizing that all of these people, places, and states of mind inform who he is as a person today.

Héctor Muñoz-Guzmán (b. 1999) is a Mexican American mix media painter and illustrator from South Berkeley, California. Drawing from a wide spread of inspirations from his dual Mexican and American cultures, familiar street imagery, perception on race, and the relationship of Catholicism through the lens of colonization, Muñoz-Guzmán produces colorful scenes that simultaneously reference his early childhood, Mexican history, and his hopes for the future. Depictions that represent himself and his family serve as a reminder to honor people that would not historically be represented in contemporary arts spaces.

Muñoz-Guzmán's wide range of mix media usage on his drawings and paintings started off from lack of resources, but then later turned into his everyday practice. His handling of saturated colors reflect the vibrant atmospheres of his childhood environment of South Berkeley, California as well as his family's native home of Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. Muñoz-Guzmán completed his foundation year at Parsons School of Design before transferring to Rhode Island School of Design’s painting program for one year. Muñoz-Guzmán lives and works in Oakland, California.