On September 20th, 2023, opened its doors, ‘Domestic Paradise’ the new exhibition by Xavi Muñoz in Guntrian Gallery, Barcelona

[…] to know glitter on a queer is not to dazzle but to unsettle the foundation of this murderous culture

defiant weeds smashing up through cement you think Oscar Wilde was funny

well Darling I think he was busy distracting straight people

Glitter in My Wound, CAConrad

On September 20th, 2023, opened its doors ‘Domestic Paradise,’ the new exhibition by Xavi Muñoz in Guntrian Gallery, Barcelona. The show -accompanied by a text by Mariella Franzoni- includes a selection of works from his series ‘Dream Hunter’ (2008-2011) and ‘Sleepwalker’ (2011), featuring works on paper and canvas where red glitters draw narratives that are poetic, intimate, and erotic. Until October 14, it will feature also a selection of glass sculptures from his ‘Totems’ series, produced between 2022 and 2023.

Catalan artist, born in 1975 in Barcelona, likes to investigate the emotional involvement of the public. His works of art evolve around the human condition. He plays with the symbolic relationship of space-object or the language of matter and uses recurring elements to convey his message forcefully.

Glitter in My Wound.

by Mariella Franzoni

Countless small, sometimes minuscule, particles boasting irregular shapes and reflective surfaces. Forged from the fragmentation of sheets of glass, plastic, or metal in various hues, glitter responds to the gentle caress of light with a brilliance that bewitches the eye, seducing our senses.

The smaller the particles, the greater their ability to disperse in the air and across surfaces, and the more fascinating their enthralling ability to nestle into the contours and crevices of bodies. There, they linger, concealed, until they reemerge, awaking fantasies and imaginative realms.

A fellow curator, Marta Echaves, once lauded those who seek remnants of glitter on a body that has journeyed through the party. She alluded to the glimmers that inhabit the shining nights of the queer utopia. I like to believe that these nights, steeped in glamour, desire, and melancholy, exhaled these luminous molecules into the world and its most sensitive beings.

We find them, as another poet suggests, even within certain wounds of the body and the soul.

ph. Red Shoes by Xavi Muñoz

The poem Glitter in My Wound by CAConrad, queer author and activist known for his “(Soma)tic Poetry Rituals,” didn’t feature among Xavi Muñoz’s literary inspirations when he embarked on weaving a new visual narrative, in 2008. Nonetheless, the artist marked the inception of this newfound intimate and poetic narrative, characterized by the application of red glitter to his drawings, with an image of a bodily wound dripping glitter as though it were blood.

We find this image in a photographic portrait of Muñoz captured in 2008 by the Catalan duo Paco and Manolo. In it, Muñoz sits on the edge of his bed, bathed in the twilight of evening, assuming a tense, curved, and contemplative posture. His chest bears a red glitter inscription that reads ‘Hurt.’ Besides,  Muñoz initiated his ‘Dream Hunter’ series with a work titled ‘Hurt’: a black and white drawing featuring a human figure with a wolf’s head, gazing languidly at us while revealing a glittering, blood-like, oozing wound. If, in popular or children’s stories, the wolf typically represents an ambiguous and malevolent character, in the world of ‘Hurt,’ the individual assumes the guise of a wolf in pursuit of a path to healing. At times, concealing one’s face is the only way to express certain inner emotions, as suggested by Alex Ibrahim in a text commenting on Muñoz’s work from that period.

How would this meticulously affixed glitter on paper, canvas, and various surfaces shine today, if we were to polish these works, dispelling the dust that has settled upon them over the years? Does this wound still seep with sorrow, or has the glitter itself cured that cut on both skin and spirit?

As fifteen years have passed since ‘Hurt,’ Xavi Muñoz’s exhibition ‘Domestic Paradise’ at the Galleria Guntrian in Barcelona, revisits a curated selection of works from the ‘Dream Hunter’ series (2008-2011) and ‘Sleepwalker’ (2011), with the aim of reinterpreting their fictional narratives, both poetic and erotic, through the lens of the present.

At the core of the ‘Dream Hunter’ series is a selection of works on paper that combine uncertain and blurred lines drawn using charcoal paper technique, with moments of red glitter that accentuate elements in the drawings: butterflies whispering words, lapidary inscriptions, dense jams, captivating mouths, arteries enveloping vital organs, or vegetal branches intertwining in the beds of sleepers and their dreams. The combination of text and image, blending literary references with elements from the domestic and everyday environment, creates narratives that are both strange and familiar, seeming to emerge, like archetypal shadows, from the deepest recesses of our dreams. Nostalgia and tenderness, fragility and sweetness intertwine with a sense of restlessness and suspense.

These artworks yearn for a time permeated with pubescent sensuality, hinting at a newfound desire, an intense longing that, until then, had remained foreign to the spirit of childhood. Within Muñoz’s domestic paradise lies the intimate realm of this desire, which the artist often refers to as a ‘dreamland‘ in some of his work’s titles: a realm of imagination, the dwelling of the dreamlike and the phantasmal.

ph. Butterfly Twins by Xavi Muñoz

From the ‘Sleepwalker’ series, Muñoz presents us with works whose visual narrative, composed of lines and areas of flat blue or white color interwoven with red or black glitter, expands onto canvases.

Three paintings – “The Door,” “Prelude,” and “Red Shoes” – engage in an enigmatic dialogue with each other, as if deciphering a riddle or unlocking a magical formula: a gate whose dark shine contrasts with a flat blue backdrop; the sensual act of a young boy undressing against a galactic backdrop of black glitter; and shining red shoes on the feet of a floating, suspended body, perhaps trapped in a dream. In a fourth painting, a large diptych titled ‘Nests,’ a glossy black silhouette set against a blue background evokes a dense network of branches with small bird nests.

ph. Red Bed by Xavi Muñoz

Finally, among the collection of works in ‘Domestic Paradise,’ we find the piece ‘InSomnia,’ also created in 2011: a sculpture that places us on the blurry border between dreaming and wakefulness, between the oneiric world and reality. In this work, we recognize the shape of a pillow marked by the abstract imprint left by the weight of a head after a night’s rest (or a night of nightmares). Sculpted in marble, this piece confuses our senses, presenting itself as a metaphor for the contradictory and the absurd.  As we touch the hardness of the stone in contrast to the delicate surfaces, the sense of lightness, serenity, and charm we initially experienced fade away. We are no longer facing a place of rest but rather an emblem of the inability to find sleep. The subtle irony that permeates the works of ‘Domestic Paradise’ is accentuated in this piece, confronting us with a sense of paradox and misleading.

Thus, like Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ Xavi Muñoz briefly dons his red glittery shoes symbolically to journey back through memory. He taps the shoes three times to resurrect their magical power. “There’s No Place Like Home,” the girl declared at the end of the movie. Perhaps this truth is also what the Catalan artist what the Catalan artist aims to convey to us.


His solo exhibitions include “GEOSMINA”, Galeria L&B, Barcelona (2022); “DREAMS”. Essenheimer Kunstverein, Mainz, Germany, curated by Cecilia Lobel (2021); “NOCTURNS”, Museu de Porreres, Mallorca (2020); “HEAVEN”, L&B Gallery, Barcelona (2019); “BUTTERFLIES DREAM”, Galeria N2, Barcelona, (2011) “IN SOMNIS”, Galeria Raquel Ponce, Madrid (2011); “CAPTURA LIBRE”, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, curated by Alex Brahim (2009); “PARADISE”, Centro de Arte Cal Massó, Reus, Tarragona, curated by Cecilia Lobel (2009); “SLEEPWALKER”, Galeria Raquel Ponce, Madrid (2009); “DREAM HUNTER”, Addaya Centre d’Art Contemporani, Alaró, Mallorca, curated by Alex Brahim (2008); “LA LÓGICA DEL DESEO”, Sala Mauro Muriedas, Torrelavega, Cantabria, curated by Juanjo Fuentes (2007), and “THIS I HAVE WISHED TO WRITE TO YOU”, Casa de las Conchas, Salamanca, curated by Juan Ramón Barbancho (2006).

His group exhibitions include “Fabular un Mundo Diferente”, Centro Cultural de España en Lima, Perú, curated by Blanca de la Torre (2021), “Universal Data”, Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo, MACAM, Beirut, Líba (2021), “Fabular un Mundo Diferente”, Centro Cultural de España en Lima, Perú, curated by Blanca de la Torre (2021).

“Universal Data”, Contemporary Art Biennial, MACAM, Beirut, Lebanon, curated by Sarah Schaub (2019); “Hybrids”, MUSAC, León, curated by Blanca de la Torre (2017) “The Ultimate First Experience”, HS- LAB, Hiroshima, Japan (2016); “Intervalo”, Casa Hoffmann, Bogotá, Colombia, curated by Alex Brahim (2016); “Premio Internacional Escultura Joven”, Francesco Messina Foundation, Casalbeltrame, Italy, curated by Lorena de Corral and Claudia Gioia (2011); “NULL”, Le Murate, Florence, Italy (2010); “ART SHAKE”, Mondo Bizarro Gallery, Rome, Italy (2010); Premi Ciutat de Palma, Casal Solleric, Palma, Mallorca (2010); “SON JÓVENES Y MAESTROS”, Galeria N2, Barcelona (2009); “BLUME”, Galeria Espai B, curated by Laura Marte (2007); “MUY FRÁGIL”, MAVA, Museo del Vidrio, Alcorcón, Madrid, curated by Juan Ramon Barbancho (2005); “SITEATIONS / SENSE IN PLACE”, Niland Gallery, Sligo, Ireland, curated by Ana Macleod (2005); “IDENTIMIDADOS”, Ciclo Inéditos, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, curated by Cèlia del Diego and Cristian Añó (2002).

Public art projects include “MEMORIAL”, Caldas de Reis, Galicia (2007); “PUBLIC ART”, Art Públic, Universitat de Valencia (2005) and “MAKE A WISH” and “MEMORY”, permanent projects in progress that have traveled around Europe and America since 2003. Among the fairs in which he has participated are SWAB (Barcelona), ARCO (Madrid), MARTE (Castellón), SCULTO (Logroño), Pulse (Miami), ZONAMACO (Mexico), Beirut Art Fair (Lebanon), Abu Dhabi Art Fair (United Arab Emirates).

His work is represented in collections such as Coca-Cola, DKV Seguros, Museo Macam Libano, HOTUSA, Design Space (UAE), Museo de Porreres, (Mallorca) Museo de Arte en Vidrio MAVA (Madrid), and private collections.

Currently represented by L&B Gallery, Barcelona.