Galeria de arte Monotype :: Biografía y Museo de Artistas




Desiderio Mundi



Desiderio Mundi’s territory is horror and imperfection – the matter that Gnostics identified with evil. His twin brother drowned in the sea and this tragedy marked Desiderio forever. Trivialising death through grotesque creatures and monsters is a way of exorcism.  The deliriums of the baroque are a response to minimalist emptiness of reformist Christianity and Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. Among flesh and emptiness, Desiderio chooses the splendour of the mortal body. Even the escathological feast of the worm is preferred to the metaphysical anguish of the removal of desire. Desiderio composes his images photographing his own body and combining it in a kind of puzzle, with elements drawn from nature’s underwater textures, corals, shells, flowers, living beings and fish – and Desiderio’s eyes are always present, scrutinising with curiosity the complex darkness of the mystery of what is terrible and marvellous.

We are including the text of the Catalogue from Desiderio Mundi’s last exhibition. We think it brings light to the philosophy of his drawings. It is a rare combination of fiction and experience – so characteristic of the artist.




As a child I used to follow people.
I was probably a lonely child.
A blood sickness made me stay in bed often.
I recall the deliriums of fever better than my mother’s smile.
I was probably a strange kid.
I avoided relating with other kids.
My sister, who used to hide in the bathroom to cry, used to say:
This boy will be a sad man.
She was right
I am a sad man.

Maybe because of a habit
I still keep the custom of following people.
I live alone.
When the place I live in becomes unbearable,
(a fifth floor flat in the working class area of a big town)
I go out in the street.
There I try to embrace my life with both hands
And she is never there.
It makes me sad to see the cars passing in the freeway.
One day I saw a deadly accident.
A Renault Clio left the causeway
That night I could sleep.
That night
Did not come


Thursday was a holiday.
The empty street invited melancholy.
I am not superstitious but that phrase read in a book about emotional intelligence pushed be to go out.
The first thing that caught my attention were the shabby wrists of her shirt.
She walked close to the buildings as if she was afraid of life.
Just like me.
That fact, and her restless gaze, which attracted me from the first moment.
When I follow someone I do not enjoy it.
It would be a mistake to believe so.


We can explain why we go to the market, or to Church,
To the brothel or to the races.
I never understood what drives me to follow people
She crossed the street without looking
That made me decide.
People did not see us.
I am using the plural because at that time, an invisible chain kept us together. Unconsciously, I imitated her gestures.
The nervous hand brushing away a lock of hair.
The somewhat sneaking fixity of the eyes.
The desperate tension of the mouth.

She turned brusquely and her steps followed an erratic course.
All the alarms went off.
Was I mistaken?
Maybe at the end it was not her.
A sudden wind filled the street with trash.
A shy streak of lightning lit up the horizon.
When the rain blurred the woman’s contour,
I hardly saw her hand emerging from the shabby shirt-wrist
Just to push the carved door of the neighbourhood church.


An ill priest was coughing inside a confessionary.
An old lady prayed, holding a dark rosary.
She came near. Her feet did not touch the ground.
Her hand opened over the eyes of a boy.
What was a boy doing in this lead-like air?
I only noticed the breathing when it stopped.
The strange kid followed the woman.
And together, they disappeared in the rain.


                                                   BIOGRAPHIC DATA

We know Desiderio was born in a ship cruising from Havana to Cadiz. He was the eldest of the Mundi twins, even if there were only 12 seconds difference. His brother, Edmundo Mundi, disappeared in the sea at the age of 12. This tragedy marked Desiderio forever. He studied computer science and theology at the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca. We know little more about his life. Nowadays he lives near Chinchón, surrounded by cats, in an old river-mill dating back to the 18th Century. He sometimes rents it out for film shoots. He dresses in black, smokes opium and wears a laconic tattoo in his left arm: “12 Seconds” to pay homage to his dead brother.