SO NEAR YET SO FAR

SPIRITUAL REMITTANCE; ONE WARRIOR UNDER GOD

text by; Jay Bautista

For The Kingdom

     
"Self Portrait with Double Edged Sword"
oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches - 2008
Two years ago, Mark Andy Garcia and a handful of young artists of his age joined the throng of 3,000 Filipinos who leave everyday to work in Saudi Arabia. The 830,000 square mile desert is home to 28 million people including 1.5 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who hope that one day to return to their country and fulfill their dreams for better and dignified lives not only for their families.

The story of how Andy found God in the most unusual and unlikeliest of places is witnessed in these seven works on canvas and 12 works on paper. In a way, the exhibit celebrates the portraits of people of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church which has been continuing their mission for almost 20 years now. The church is located in Al-Khobar, a town near Dammam, where Andy worked and stayed. A few pieces are metaphors of what Andy experiences as a Christian and themes of what he perceives are things to come. Overall, the works are examinations of how an artist observes other milieus and cultures dealing with religiosity, politics, and identity. 

Instrumental to his conversion, this wealth of images in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made a strong impression on him and eventually to his art to this day. It shines more than when the sun reflects on the oil in the desert. They are heavier in meaning than all the weight of the luggage when Andy went home. More than the dollars he has earned, this spiritual remittance makes him even richer than cost of all the barrels of oil combined. 

When Andy returned to the Philippines, he wasn’t clad in material gold which is sold cheaply and abundantly there, he brought home with him a bible. It is in this context that you have to view Andy’s first exhibition.     *continue reading >>


"Kuya Ganie with Double 
Edged Sword"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Preacher Kuya Louie"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Kuya Jerry's Mansion"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Old Man with Bible"
oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches- 2008
"Kuya Jerry Preaching The Gospel"
oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches - 2008
"The Singing Saudi-Men Trio"
oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches - 2008
"Kuya Ganie and Tin-tin The Song Leader"
oil on paper, 30" x 22" - 2007
"Kuya Jess Friday Morning Concert"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"The Steadfast"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Angelo"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Crucifixion"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"The Preacher and the Pagan"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"The Whole Armor of God"
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches - 2008
"The Atheist and The Preacher"
oil on paper, 22 x 30 inches - 2007
"The Whole Armor of Light"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"The Place I Hated Yet I Loved"
oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches - 2007
"Natural Man"
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches - 2008
"Kuya Jerry and Ate Charlene Praying for Me"
oil on canvas, 48" x 60" - 2008

DOCUMENTATION
*Photos by West Gallery