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Steve Carter | Photo: Micah Smith | May 29, 2014
In his current exhibition at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, Dallas artist Sergio Garcia recalibrates the familiar into head-turning double-takes.
Although he’s only 35 and still young in his artistic life, Sergio Garcia is very much his own man. It’s Like the Beginning of That One Song, his second solo exhibition at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, is running now through July 5, cementing his reputation as one of the area’s unique art voices. Garcia’s previous show at KHFA, 2012’s Social, featured his Heat series of silkscreen prints of retro Air Jordan sneakers. What Warhol did for the soup can, Garcia did for the iconic footwear. “But with this show it’s the tricycles and the figurative sculptures that are becoming an inner-self type of thing,” Garcia explains. “The art critic Jerry Saltz once said that art kinda goes through you—it uses you—more than the other way around. I feel like that’s what’s happening with me and this work—like it’s doing itself, more than me trying to think about it.”
Check out “Infinity,” a mini tricycle sculpture that’s a visual koan. A familiar, universal toy, in Garcia’s manipulating hands, it loses functionality and morphs into a playful, archetypal metaphor for the eternal inner child. “Whether you grew up here or in China or Russia, I think everyone can identify with it,” he says. “That’s one of the cooler things about it—you’re not so jaded at that age. … You’re just having a good time, and everything’s so bright and so new.” Hailing from East Dallas, Garcia cut his art teeth with graffiti, and in his early 20s he was one of several guerrilla artists who painted the now-defunct Good Latimer Tunnel project. From those vernacular origins he’s transitioned seamlessly into fine art circles, with showings in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Cannes, France and elsewhere.
Another intriguing piece is “Just the Thought of You,” a life-size sculpture that’s arresting, both realistically and surrealistically. Fashioned of Fiberglas, paint, metal, cloth and blown glass, a figure of a maid sits tentatively on the edge of her seat; it’s anybody’s guess if she’s receiving a reprimand or just catching her breath. But her neck and head have been replaced with an arm and hand, and that hand is holding a bubble wand—her mind is somewhere else entirely. “There’s part of me that wants the work to be very identifiable but very way off,” Garcia reveals. “I want people to identify with it, but I do like to exaggerate things.” Enjoy the disorienting surprises of Garcia’s provocative It’s Like the Beginning of That One Song, through July 5. 3008 Commerce St., 214.760.9230