Six questions for
John Garcia

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: John Garcia.

Lives in Los Angeles / New York

How do you describe your own art practice?

More than anything, I spend a lot of time looking at images.

I used to keep sketchbooks in hopes that a drawn idea would later provide the foundation for a new painting. Sometimes I would flip through much older sketchbooks and I’d get this inscrutable feeling that I was looking at the work of another artist – I was a spectator to my own images. It was a comfortable and kind of ubiquitous position. Haven’t we all spent time as an onlooker? What does the role of the viewer truly involve?

What was your first experience with art?

My aunt came to visit my family in Los Angeles when I was four years old. My mom took her around town, showed her LA. I got lucky and was taken with the two of them, along with my sister, to LACMA. There was a Picasso show on at the time. According to a wall didactic, Picasso had made one of the sculptures out of his son’s toy car. I couldn’t believe the how cruel he was to steal his son’s toy.

Later on, my aunt took me to the second floor to view a more contemporary exhibition. Midway through the gallery was Ed Keinholz’s Back Seat Dodge 38. I desperately wanted to crawl inside the car.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?


What do you need in order to create your work?

I need (want) so much. However, I don’t think my work is too dependent on any one item/place/mood. Many people have said some variation of this phrase to me: “If you can do anything other than art, then don’t make art.” I think this is a privileged sentiment. What I can confidently say is that the only thing I need to do is art.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m very tediously working on painting the space between my eye and what it is my eye is looking at. Trying to paint very dense air.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Guy De Cointet is still surprisingly fresh. Nancy Lupo is right now and is surprising.

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