THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW. March 9 - 22, 2013 -- Art Cube Gallery


Text by Alice G. Guillermo

"Things are Different Now"oil on canvas, 48x48 inches - 2013

Mark Andy Garcia’s paintings in this show constitute an album of memories and keepsakes of experiences in his own life.  His art indeed comes from the depths of his being.  Perhaps he is among the most personal of artists as he draws from his life experiences the material of his paintings and reflects on them to gather what meanings they may reveal of his existence.  He himself as artist felt himself as the living subject at the center of the universe.  Born in 1984, his artistic consciousness grew from his early childhood.  Later, his clear artistic bent was nurtured with his enrolment in the  Bachelor of Fine Arts course in the Technological University of the Philippines.  Since then, he has won a number of important prizes, one of which was the Grand Prize in the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition.

Indeed, even as a child, he would feel nature bursting all around him, not threateningly, but exultantly, as in celebration.  In his work, from his early experience, from child to adult; he felt his own growth bound up with the growth and flourishing of trees, plants, and flowers in a vast orchestration of nature.  Likewise, with growing up, his interactions with people have expanded and acquired new meanings, as his life has become enmeshed with theirs.

Mark Andy Garcia is also one of the most spontaneous of artists, using a painterly style that is wholly expressive of his zest for life and his creative energy in which all life in the world is intermingled.  He revels in a restless and colourful energy that expands in all directions and opens into new dimensions.

From his early shows, like those in the West Gallery to the present one, we also know him to be the most autobiographical of artists.  He has described his work as a journal of personal experience. Thus, within the lush setting of nature, we see the children of his childhood playing among the trees.  As he grows older, he makes us more aware of people and friends closest to him who have shaped his life.  Thus, there are a number of character portraits in their personal settings or within the domestic backgrounds that they share together with the artist.  

Furthermore, these persons are often associated with their life-symbols.  In many times, they are associated with musical instruments, such as a piano or a flute, showing their love for art, their energy flowing from their fingertips to elicit exquisite sounds from these instruments.  In these likewise, his painterly style of spontaneous colored lines in intermingled waves elicits their profound joy in their musical art.  In his paintings, Andy Garcia also partakes in their joy as the spirit of his paintings is in consonance with their musical journeys.

His paintings, too, resonate with the key events of their shared lives.  He seems particularly fond of painting weddings being the turning points of his friends’ lives.  In these, the autobiographical aspect of his work comes to the fore as he brings to awareness the changing course of life, the different impacts of the past, the present, and the future and how these affect a person significantly, as he expressed in his painting Things Are Different Now. Part of these are the painful ordeals that these turning points bring.  Thus, the other side of his art which he brings out are the heart-wrenching emotional contents of these events.  No one is spared from these crucial points, and indeed, as he says, they are part of the lives of all of us.

But, according to the artist, what alleviates the pains of life is God who helps people understand the meanings of these events, which may be for good or ill or may finally turn out to be for the best.  Beneath the glories of nature or the darkness of stormy events is God himself for Whom the artist keeps a special niche, thus a number of his paintings show throngs of people lined for church service.  This, however, is not any Christian church in general, but his own personal church in which he shares a common worship with its own flock.

Mark Andy Garcia weaves the whole course of life in his paintings, its childhood joys, its later sorrows, even its personal blows, but he is one artist who proffers a ready center of solace to all those wallowing in pain and sorrow: God at the center of the shrine of worship who calls to the suffering to embrace the light.

oil on canvas, 48x48 inches - 2013
"Paula The Cellist during AllGHO"
oil on canvas, 48x48 inches - 2013
"Painted Words"
oil on canvas, 36" x 24" - 2013
"Tita Rose"
oil on canvas, 24x24 inches - 2013
"Self-Portrait in Skyblue Longsleeve w/ Coffee & Eggpie"oil, 36"x24" - 2013
"Paula Staring at The Red Flowers"
oil on canvas, 36"x24" - 2013
"Wedding of Angelo and Sherell"
oil on canvas, 48x48 inches - 2013
"His Mercies are New Every Morning"
oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches - 2013
"Williboy and Cherry"
oil on canvas, 36"x24" - 2013