What first drew you to creating your own art, and how long have you been at it? What inspires you to do so?
Self expression. I have been creating art since I was a little boy; of course my subject matter has changed tremendously. The love affair I have with creating art inspires my process. Besides that obvious notion other ideas have inspired my work such as the “berdache”. In some Native American tribes a Berdache-two spirited individual- posses both male and female characteristics. At a young age, parents who discovered such a child would nourish her/his behavior. The girl or boy berdache would have an important role in the tribe as an adult. I created a silk screen print series tilted “Little Drag Boy” inspired by the berdache.
What are you hoping to capture, and/or communicate, with some of your images? What do you want people to walk away with after viewing them?
My artwork challenges social norms of beauty, identity, and gender, I want people to question their own beliefs on such ideas. I want to empower others who have similar concepts and thoughts as mine to influence social change.
What are some challenges you have faced, or expect to face, when trying to communicate through your art? I believe you mentioned to us once of a instance where you found your work rejected or censored by a publication you contributed to.
The work I displayed for my senior exhibition on campus was censored, if the work was not censored, the gallery doors would be closed and there would have been less traffic. I was only one of twelve and didn’t want to do that to 11 other artists work.
I think the big question I need to answer is, Is my subject matter, thick hairy slightly feminine men, the most effective way to express my conceptual thoughts? Is my execution really influencing social change?
What sort of projects do you have planned for the future, and do you hope to expand your creativity into other mediums?
I love fashion and recently began researching the history of textile, surely this will lead to fashion sketches and a tad bit of sewing. Some areas I might want to further investigate are performance art and Native American art (specifically the berdache). One thing for sure I want my art to be in galleries. So in the future I plan to submit works to different venues and hope I meet there requirements in order to be exhibited.
I have applied to several graduate programs and hope to hear good news sometime between the end of February and April. If I do not get into a program my next plan of action is to move to Austin and find a job. I will always create art; as of right now I am working on two commissioned pieces.
Are there any artists you draw inspiration from?
Kehinde Wiley, Sylvia Sleigh, Paul Cadmus, Paul Richmond
For information about purchasing paintings or commissioning work, contact Marco Garcia by email at email@example.com
This interview was originally published in Issue 2 of Strike Magazine.