Arturo Garcia with 3 of his paintings

3-D Studio Demo Artist Arturo Garcia

Arturo Garcia will be in the 3-D Studio November 11-12, 2017.

Megan Farlow: What will your demonstration at the DAM be like? What can visitors expect to see?

Arturo Garcia: I will be painting with oils on canvas using pallet knives as my preferred tool. The technique I will be using creates a three-dimensional effect allowing the oils to pop out from the canvas and in some instances casting a shadow of their own from the thick layers of oil paint.

Megan Farlow: How has your background influenced you as an artist?

Arturo Garcia: I was raised in mid-western Mexico in the state of Jalisco where I grew up watching the Huichol Indians weave tapestry, clothing, and I also was taken by their yarn painting. The colors they used were an explosion of life. Their back-strap loom weaving seemed like an endless universe of color. My soul was taken by their art and the way they brought light with the combination of these magnificent arrays of turquoise, the many variations of magentas, and different hues of greens, blues, and yellows. My art definitely has a direct influence from the Huichol art, not in the form or technique but in the use of color.

Arturo Garcia painting

Megan Farlow: Can you comment on the different impact painting may have on the viewer when compared with 3-D artworks such as sculpture?

Arturo Garcia: My technique is a subtle rebellion to its two-dimensional sentence. It's the painting saying, "I'm getting up! I am detaching and creating a life of my own." And that becomes possible the moment you see the paint casting its own shadow. It is when you go wow! And you can actually feel its life in your fingers when you run them across the painting.

Megan Farlow: You use incredibly vibrant colors in your work, what inspires your color choices?

Arturo Garcia: I place each color intuitively. It's almost as if they call on each other and tell me where they want to be. As I said before, the influence from the Huichol Indians of Jalisco is in my pallet. I have those colors engraved in my brain, and in my soul. To me color is life. The beauty of life.

Megan Farlow: Lastly, who or what inspires the subject matter of your work?

Arturo Garcia: That part of art is in constant change. It's an ongoing revelation. I never know where I'm going to be going next so it's always a surprise, almost a gift. I paint what I see around me and what I see in me. I go through periods when all I want to paint is wildlife, or sometimes trees, or as is the case now, landscapes. It changes and I never really know what is going to be the next thing. I just obey the silent calling. One day, out of the blue, I wake up thinking of painting canyons and that is all I think about until I actually do it. Of course this is not really coincidental or an impulse. It seems to follow a visit to a place or a book or a dream, as might be the case. Once immersed in the subject matter I do some investigating. This can be visiting places, reading books, or in some cases, field work.

Megan Farlow is a studio and artist programs intern in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. She enjoys the museum’s American Indian art collection, especially works by Jeffrey Gibson.

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