To Live

Mark Andy Garcia

June 25 - July 25, 2020


PSALM 30: 5 weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

With a sizable body of exhibitions, the artist and his work undergoes change over time.

Previous works tell of time spent overseas as a painter-grounding-in-painterhood. He built technical skills, through creative and routine exercises. While residing in the Middle East, Mark Andy Garcia painted both murals and blank walls.

He resided in Al Khobar, an eastern province in Saudi Arabia. In the midst of this environment, Garcia sprung upon refuge: sessions of worship in the Metropolitan Baptist Church. These ceremonies were surreptitious, silent on the surface, but joyous inside. Enveloped by a hostile environment, such gatherings built a stronger sense of community.

He returns to his home country and is met by tragedy and crisis. There is anguish at death, dismay at scandal. His first exhibitions Under Watchful Eyes (2009) and For Dear Life (2011) are marked by radicalism and raw emotions, anger and despair. These experiences were translated onto canvas.

Though after beginnings of brashness, bravery and unrest, There is fruition.

Over time, the paintings grow in brightness.

They morph, through exhibitions, fairs and a Thirteen Artists Award. The process is maintained, but there are reflexive, reflective changes in format and substantiation.

Mark Andy Garcia’s most recent exhibition To Live rises like a peaceful strain.

He rearranges the structure of real life images, as indoor landscapes overflow with foliage. Outdoors trees reach upward. He says they connect the soil; the earth to the heavens. Some frames have people as subjects, neighbors, as well as close, cherished friends. In Alive Inside, there is an explosion of verdure with pensiveness that references a life-eternal. Prayer shows a figure, unclothed and humble. He is raw with faith.

The current works in the show are made of generous layers of oil paint. Intense visual texture emerges through thin and fat strokes, back and forth on the other. In each work there is an unobtrusive, almost unnoticeable dominance of white.

Life of an Artist I & II pay homage to Van Gogh, the well-loved Dutch post-impressionist. There are structural parallels in the life stories of both artists, as well as a shared love of light. The colors convey specific attitudes, beyond mere optical experience. It seems not deliberate, but a natural transmission through choices of hue and subject.

The artist grows in self-assurance, through single works and several shows.

He treads and paints lightly, even if feeling deeply.

In these images, the Every Day is expanded, stretched to its fullest length, its fullest life.

— L.S.