NEWS MB - What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next in Arts. 02/01/2021

Published February 1, 2021, 8:00 AM

by MB Lifestyle

This is part of a series of profiles on a new generation of leaders, thinkers, creators, innovators, and trailblazers across many fields in the country. The list is drawn under the theme “What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next” in celebration of Manila Bulletin’s 121st anniversary as an exponent of Philippine progress.

Mark Andy Garcia

Mark Andy Garcia: The anti-trend artist

Every artist has his own distinct signature. What makes 36-year-old painter Mark Andy Garcia stand out is his anti-trend style. In a conversation with the Manila Bulletin, the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) 13 Artists Awards winner humbly says that nothing is special about him. 

Known as the anti-trend painter, Mark does not go with what’s hot or what’s in. Instead, he focuses on telling stories that he truly understands. “I’m just a typical painter,” he says. “Maybe what makes me different is that my works are deeply rooted in the words of God because I’m a Christian. But then again, there are a lot of Christian artists like me.” 

Taking inspiration from his personal experiences, Mark shares this part of him through still-life and landscape images either by oil or watercolor. “It’s important to me that I only paint what’s within my territory. That’s why I value my experiences because these are what influences me on what I am going to create,” he says. “When you do things that are not naturally you, your audience will feel that your work is just a copycat.” 

Just like the rest of us, the Metro Bank Art and Design Excellence grand prize winner also feels the impact of the pandemic. But if there’s one thing Covid-19 has helped him realize, it’s the importance of taking things slow to be more productive. “Lots of things have happened in 2020, but the lockdown brings calmness to me,” Mark says. “Since we don’t have exhibits and we have nothing else to do at home, it pushes me to create more and to focus on my craft.” 

For younger artists who are also dreaming to be the next trailblazers in the art scene, Mark has a few pieces of advice. “If they are not really good at drawing but they are telling their truth, they will get there someday. I, myself, was not as good as my contemporaries but I survived in the long run,” he says. “But, most of all, don’t be lazy. Set a good standard for yourself.” (Jessica Pag-iwayan)