This week, we are sharing an interview with sculpture artist Art Garcia, a 2019 Art On Henderson finalist. Garcia’s piece, Human Nature, Fig. No 1, (2018), is on display along Henderson Avenue as part of the Art On Henderson collection this year.
“Through serial objects, Human Nature offers a collective observation into our social consciousness. These figures, seemingly displaced from an industrial or urban environment, use the language of color so commonly experienced in our daily lives.”
How long have you been working as a sculptor artist?
I’ve created three-dimensional objects since I was a kid and sculpture for the better part of 30 years.
How long have you lived in Dallas? How does it inspire or challenge your work?
Thirty-seven years—wow, long enough to call it home. I’m originally a West Texan (El Paso). The growth in Dallas has always inspired me. The diversity in Dallas provides both creative inspiration and a challenge from a competitive standpoint. I enjoy a friendly rivalry. While I have many contemporaries in the Dallas community, I have found them to have the hearts of Texas. So, I guess that’s how Dallas inspires me.
How did the idea for Human Nature, Fig. No. 1 come to be?
Human Nature is a series of eleven figures originally presented at Connemara Nature Preserve in Allen, Texas. Through a cathartic process, I created a ten-inch cast iron sculpture Blue-Heavy Sensation, (2015) — a self-portrait. The object sat on my desk for more than a year. Somehow, it just kept speaking to me, so I decided to enlarge it. First, three feet tall, Pulse, (2017), then eight feet tall Blue-Fig.No.4 (2017), the first large Human Nature figure informed by the Black Lives Matter March and shooting in downtown Dallas, currently displayed at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. The larger figures are not self-portraits rather, an observation on the human condition as it pertains our social, psychological and natural environment. Figure No. 2&3, (2018) are on display at Art on the Streets in Lafayette, Colorado. Figure No. 1, (2018) is informed by the disparity of male and female, now displayed at Art on Henderson. The remaining three sets, speak to transgender issues, border issues and our responsibility—or lack of—to nature.
Who are your greatest personal influences and inspirations – past and present?
My uncle Richard Medrano, who was one of the first AIDS victims. He moved to Dallas from El Paso, then on to New York. He was one of my greatest influences through his accomplishments. There’s often that one person in our lives and he was that one person for me. When I became a father, both sons provided an innocent and whimsical quality to my art-making. On a professional level, the minimalism and seriality of Judd is certainly influential in my objects. The very early works of Andy Warhol, to me, have the quality of the German Expressionist. The spiritual writings of Kandinsky and everything/everyone Bauhaus. In the present, Richard Serra’s object’s materiality and simplicity speak to my aesthetic. Then there is Doris Salcedo, whose work speaks for those with no voice. There are many, many other notable and contemporaries whom I admire. Nature! The West Texas desert mountains with their simplicity and authenticity are an aspect of our environment which also are a factor in the work I produce.
What’s your favorite spot on Henderson Avenue?