Eric J. Garcia

Artist Statement

I am the colonized and the colonizer. My work examines my personal history juxtaposed with historical events to create a relatable understanding of the distant past and the complexities of the present. Aware that history is used as a strategy of domination, I attempt to subvert through my art the various dominant histories of the conquering powers. By combining old and new icons I have come to create my own visual vernacular to explain ironies of the past versus the present. In depicting and re-evaluating complex issues using an assortment of media to do so, I hope to unlearn the very one-sided dogma of western history and western art.

I work in various forms, such as printmaking, to murals, to sculpture, but they all have a common goal of educating and challenging. I am making art that is not only conceptual but also has an emphasis on craft. The media I use has a connection with the idea I am presenting. This goal of using a specific media to enhance the idea of the artwork motivates and challenges me to experiment with elements I would not normally use. My own pictographs help explain complex narratives while sarcasm and satire helps lighten the harsh-reality it depicts.

The power of imagery is a tremendous vehicle for delivering information. The Mexican Mural Movement and comic books are only a few of my inspirations that have showed me how powerful the visual arts can be. Through my art I try to make an assortment of visual objects that not only reflects on the past but also poses challenges to the present.

Eric J. Garcia

Bio

Eric J. Garcia blends history, culture, contemporary themes and a graphic style to create politically charged art that reaches beyond aesthetics. Using his political cartoons, mixed media installations, murals, hand printed posters and drawings, he aims to educate and challenge his viewers to question sources of power and the whitewashing of history. Being a teaching artist is a core component of his art practice and he uses his work as a tool for youth and adults to explore technique and craft while interrogating pressing social and political issues. He has given workshops to youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, created murals with youth in Chicago and New Mexico and guest lectured at universities across the country.

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