In his fourth one-man show, titled Permanent, Mark Andy Garcia draws inspiration from personal trials and tribulations, particularly those involving his family, with whom he is especially close. At 25, he has managed to turn deeply-seated grief and wrath into works of art.
In an untitled piece, Jeena Rani Marquez-Manaois writes, Garcia “disembodies his rage and bewilderment” over his sister’s decision to leave home “by creating a seven-foot beast expelled from a human figure.” In “Raquel and My Heart,” Garcia depicts a female figure slicing a human heart with a Macbethan dagger, an interpretation of his sister’s possible misgivings about his apparent but misunderstood apathy. In “My Mother,” Garcia paints his mother as a quiet embodiment of his grief, putting her in the most miserable place on earth. As an artist, he breaks free from realist conventions, but perseveres in achieving authentic emotions. While Garcia exercises control in creating the figure in “Walk with a Knife,” as if the figure is moving, he confidently allows spontaneity to take over in the painting. Then, in “Whisper,” where a riveting image of a skeletal and semi-demonic being is whispering to a male figure, Garcia acknowledges the more macabre aspects of his humanity in the context of chronicling his reaction to his sister’s elopement. Still, he takes comfort in his faith. In “Black Sea,” he expresses his need for God’s guidance to overcome difficult periods in his life. His solitary image appears in “Self-Portrait,” now as a persona that has moved beyond the rage of his untitled painting and deliberately distanced from others’ perceptions and judgment.
Garcia is also encouraged by Vincent Van Gogh’s example, paying homage to him in two works, namely, “Sunflowers” and “With Van Gogh.” In the midst of his family’s ordeals, he read Van Gogh’s letters, learning from the artist’s profound understanding of art and the artist’s life.