Extensively exhibited, published and collected, Joe Ramiro Garcia’s idiosyncratic imagery and highly energetic pallete embody a lighthearted chaos in his oil-and-alkyd paintings. Colliding polarized trends within contemporary art, Garcia merges Pop Art’s distanced reproductions of cultural icons with an expressionistic, painterly aesthetic. Random figures and quotidian objects combine with an obvious attention to praxes of two-dimensional composition and careful application of media in his provocative paintings. These elements animate a space that seems at once recognizable and eerily mysterious—a tableau of discordant players depicting an enigmatic order.
While they lack a specific narrative, Garcia’s pieces engender a different type of validity; his reflections on sensation and paradox, mortality, joviality and nostalgia all add to the weight of his work. The artist asserts, “I hope to displace the familiar just enough to encourage re-familiarization with the constant flux of urban experience.” By referencing both popular culture and private experiences, his psychologically resonant paintings navigate between the satisfaction of instant recognition and the riddle of a fantasy or elusive memory.
Born in Houston, Texas, Garcia attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was honored in 2005 with a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Exhibited in museums and private institutions internationally, his works are featured in several books on Southwestern art.