The Arts

September 3, 2013

Spiritually Driven

Sergio Garcia

 

Sergio Garcia was born in Brownsville, Texas, 33 years ago, and from an early age he discovered his love for the arts. After finishing high school, he traveled to Mexico City to study acting and continue learning new drawing and painting techniques.  While in Mexico City, he was cast in theater plays and made his TV debut in two popular soap operas: Rebelde and Clase 406. It is in Mexico City that his spirituality exploded when he discovered Reiki: a Japanese technique of treating the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit with beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace.  “I encountered great teachers here, and I had a large spiritual family. It is a way to heal any physical illness through spirituality,” said Sergio adding how this practice became a spiritual journey that opened the doors to a world he had forgotten he knew.

“Spirituality inspires all of my work.  Each one of my art pieces is a short story, and a conversation with God, sometimes in the form of a question, and even a complaint. Instead of praying, I create a painting, and sometimes I even find an answer. When that happens, it is something magical.  God is always talking to us, but we are not listening,” he said.   Sergio believes in using symbols to express his message, for he finds the obvious boring and monotonous.  He believes the people who admire his work are the ones that finish the message. “More than talking about my pieces of artwork, I enjoy listening to what spectators have to say to me – which in the end, it is what matters because I discover what I am transmitting to them,” Sergio said in a reflecting voice. “Each person perceives something different, but regardless of what that is, I know it will be something positive.” Upset about the way artists are expressing the violence in Mexico, Sergio believes that the topic has become conventional because it has reached the mass media, and transcended borders.   “We do not need any more of that negative energy.” Sergio feels the world is the way it is because we allow it by neglecting to assume responsibility. He believes change must come from the individuals, and everybody must do their part and stop blaming everything and everybody else for the chaos in the world.

Sergio left Mexico City a couple of years ago to return to his hometown of Brownsville, Texas, and pursue a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas in Brownsville, which he just completed this year. During this time, he experimented with the use of mixed media.  But things changed for him when he was introduced to ceramics. “It gives me something that fulfills me completely. I use clay to create my sculpture, but I also introduce fabrics, metal, wood and just about anything that inspires me.”

His first exhibit consisted of Prisma color pencil drawings  and happened in Mexico City when a friend of his suggested to him to share his talent with  people instead of storing his work in his closet. It was in a hip Colonia Condesa’s restaurant that he found a space.  My Wonderful Bad Moments exhibit turned out to be a successful venture, for much to his surprise, all of his drawings sold. He continued exhibiting in another restaurant in Colonia Condesa this time with a collection of acrylic paintings. Sergio had never had any formal training with acrylic paintings, but used them effectively because he believes they bring out the light creating a special effect in his Pop Art. “ Pez-Ame” was the name of this his second exhibit because it was a collection of paintings depicting fish and mermaids, hence the name pez meaning fish. “I believe every artist paints according to his state of mind, whether he realizes it or not,” said Sergio who believes there is no need to read about a true artist, for his or her work should say it all. And this he applies to all manifestations of art.

From these two exhibits many others followed including one in the Check Republic where two of his pieces were selected to be a part of a collection organized by his art teacher in Mexico City;  Hilda Solis.  Most of his exhibits have been in the Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico, and one of the most memorable ones for Sergio was the Aurora in Dallas, Texas, where he and a group of art students from UTB were invited to participate with their professor Angel Cabrales. “It was wonderful to see light sculptures lined up along a large avenue at night with the lights of high rise buildings as backdrop,” Sergio explained. His work has also been selected for several group exhibits around Texas.

His most recent work is on exhibit at the Mexican consulate office in Brownsville, Texas, on Mexico Boulevard, and it is titled “Sacando Mis Trapitos al Sol”- which loosely translated means Airing My Dirty Laundry. It will travel to Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico in a couple of months. The name recalls a popular phrase in Mexico that he finds very amusing because it means to air out – or let the people know about your life story including your dirty little secrets.  “It is my way of expressing my life,” said an enthusiastic Sergio. Sergio hopes to travel around the world and return to exhibit in Mexico City hopefully in a Gallery.  After a few years in the valley, and after struggling to get his work known, he sees doors are beginning to open, and he appreciates that.

Sergio feels very passionate about the local art scene something he believes needs more support. He touched on the many times he has heard complaints from people about not having much to do here in the valley, and how even art students do not support art related events. He believes that while the valley is small in comparison to large metropolitan areas, there are still plenty of things to do here. As an example he mentioned the Dali exhibit the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts curated last year, and the collection of private photographs of Frida Kahlo that same museum presented, in addition to the concert series at UTB. “I believe we need to support and attend all of these cultural events. You don’t always have to like them, but it is a great opportunity to meet people.”  At this time, Sergio realizes that in order to grow artistically he needs to travel and leave the valley, at least for now.

Sergio is a passionate of Pop Art, and said Andy Warhol has definitely made a mark on his work even though he is not one of his favorite artists. The work of Frida Kahlo, Slavador Dali and Rufino Tamayo, among others, will certainly accompany Sergio on his creative journey that will be guided by the inner light of his spirituality.

Photos for this article are from the Monitor’s article on Sergio.

I wrote this story for  RGV Beyond Arts & More Magazine‘s August issue.

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About the Author

Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts,nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most important, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .




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