Monday, February 3, 2014

Artist profile: Maya Garcia

I came to know of Maya Garcia through the Duran Duran and David Bowie fan circles of Facebook.  But it is the art that she creates that led me to interview her for ESE.

To acquaint yourself with Maya's work, please head over and watch the video art piece, "Channel Flipping." It evokes a few of the more interesting aspects that surrealism has to offer.  Shades of Chagall and even David Lynch (I was thinking of him when the owl appeared) make their presence known.

It can often be difficult for a passionate artist to make their way in this bottom-line world.  That is a truth I am all too aware of so if I can help others along in their endeavors, I certainly will.  So thankfully for us, Maya agreed to answer a few quick questions about her and her art for this blog:

1. Most readers of my blog know of my fervent admiration of Duran Duran and I know it is an admiration that you share.  How specifically has the band influenced your art?

Duran Duran have inspired nearly every facet of my life, from how I put outfits together down to what other music I listen to. I never fully grasped their influence on me till fairly recently! Because they started becoming an obsession for me from a very young age, I jokingly say that Duran Duran partially "raised" me. In truth, this last album and tour has inspired me to try new things in terms of creativity, to dare to push myself artistically. That is why I started creating these films; originally for the TV Mania project, but now it's become a passion in and of itself.

2. Outside of that, who are your artistic influences? 

My imagination was captured by Surrealist art and film from the first time I wandered the halls of the Art Institute, and it's still my favorite style or movement of art. In general, I adore most of the art from 1900-1940, and also Renaissance art, especially tapestries and triptychs. I also enjoy Pop Art. My favorite artists are the ones who either move me or make me look at the world differently. Especially Frida Kahlo and Marc Chagall.

Musically, David Bowie is also a huge influence. I love all kinds of music, from 60's soul to disco, punk, dark wave and the "glam revival" bands like Suede. I've started listening to a lot more electronica in the last few years as I've started making music and learning how to play keyboards again. Movies often inspire me too, and can stay with me for days, months, years. I love anything that "feeds my head", or my heart.

3. As an artist, what role do you see yourself having in society? 

I hope to inspire others to see things through a different lens, or maybe to even feel something. I just see myself as a messenger of sorts. Everything I create, from books to music to films is all about pure instinct. I may start off with an idea, but I often don't know what I've created until I take a step back. I just follow that little voice of inspiration within me and let it go!

4. Tell me about the "Channel Flipping" piece. 

Ever since childhood, I've had these recurring dreams, often taking place in different eras. I used these dreams as the spark of an idea, where I tried to portray what would happen if you could connect your subconscious mind up to a TV screen, kind of like a wireless router. What kinds of mischief does your mind get up while you sleep? Carrying on with the TV/TV Mania theme, I added samples from several, actual TV shows, and even an infomercial. I wanted to add some "old school" interruptions and white noise to the audio too, like the TV broadcasts used to have at the end of the day, and I also included several different programs over my film sequence, including an almost childish play on a murder mystery, which I called "Devil bird." It doesn't quite make sense, though it still all harmonizes together somehow, kind of like a dream sequence, with a soundtrack!

5. You've been doing quite a bit of work on Instagram I see.  Tell me about those compositions. 

I like playing with light, shadows and color. I just work purely on instinct. If I see a good shot, I go for it. Sometimes I like the accidental shots too, the way that the lens distorts light and creates an entirely new thing. It's amazing what you can do these days with "just" a little camera phone or an iPad! I like some of the filters on Instagram, and also the way that you can essentially display your work quickly. Like any other piece of technology, you can choose to be creative with it or not.

Thank you so much for the interview, Maya!  We'll certainly be watching for more great art.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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