In the "Artist Spotlight" series, we go behind the posters to hear directly from several of the artists...
Artist: Eric J. Garcia: Chicago, IL
Artwork: "Our Tax Dollars At Work"
When you make art, whom do you make it for?
As a satirical/political-Chicano artist, my job is to get messages out to the world. So ideally my art is for everyone. Not just for radicals, not just for Chicanos, I want all to see and get something from my art. For those who have similar backgrounds and politics hopefully they can relate, get a sense of pride or learn something new. For those who are from a completely different background and politics hopefully they can see a new perspective or if art makes them mad then I've also done my job. Or from a Fine Art perspective, if you appreciate a well crafted and thought out art work, then thats my audience as well.
Who has been a big inspiration for you as an artist?
I grew up reading old comic books drawn by Jack Kurby and Joe Kubert. They're graphic ink style has been a huge influence which I still use today. While in high school my brother took me to Meixco City for the first time where I was introduced to Los Tres Grandes, the Big Three: David Alfaro Siqueros, Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. When I saw this giant public works I understood then and there that art can be much more than just aesthetics. I realized art can have great power. As a vehicle, art can bring history to life in the present. As a tool, art can be used by educators to show, dissect and teach with. And as a weapon, art can visually critique and literally paint a perspective that challenges.
What role can art play in resisting militarism & state violence?
Art can play a vital roll in influencing public perception of militarism and state violence. Visual communication is more important than ever with the coming of social media. Our attention spans have shrunk to only a few seconds and for us to read an entire article much less a book about important news, is a challenge. But with the loss of our attention spans we have gained in our reach of audience. Social media has given us the ability to talk to the other side of the world. Art has the potential to grab our attention to deliver important messages. This is why political cartoons are more relevant than ever. A good political cartoon can grab your attention and visualize a complex issue in a short period of time. When we are surfing the net the visual is the hook that gets us to read the article. Also, thanks to globalization there has developed a universal visual language that is understood around the world. These visuals can then be used to influence the perception of militarism and state violence. Like any good marketing campaign the way the message is delivered depends on the visuals or the artistic way it is presented.