Jacob Garza

Las Memorias

Jacob M Garza Jr. is a San Antonio based artist who creates paintings and drawings of places and people to explore nature, memory and identity. He uses personal experiences and oral stories passed down from family and friends to create a narrative within his work. Jacob has had his works published in VoyageHouston, Aspire 2 Inspire and Love & Chaos He also has his work in a private collection at the president’s house at Texas State University.He graduated in the fall of 2022 with his BFA in painting, with a minor in Spanish and with the recognition of Cum Laude at Texas State University.

Artist Statement of Work

Tell us about your work (style, approach, philosophy, subject and/or theme):

I create paintings and drawings of places and people to explore nature, memory, and identity. I use personal experiences and oral stories passed down from my family and friends to create a narrative within my work. These narratives often talk about my family and the communities that I grew up in as a Latino descendant of “agricultores”. My role is to educate others and to preserve my family's traditions that are slowly fading away.

My process involves layering transparent colors and images on top of one another, pulling and pushing the paint as it flows and letting the image emerge from the canvas through an automatism process. The delicate use of the paint applied to the surface is influenced by Chinese and Japanese watercolor/ink paintings in which I incorporate the same meditative quality. Using elements of line, color, and space I create a sense of rhythm or motion that directs the viewer's eyes throughout the piece, enveloping their field of vision in atmospheric scenes that bring the viewer into a different world.  My influences are in Anthony Cudahy, Adam Lee & Naudline Cluvie Pierre. This is present on the surface and how I apply the paint in washes to create these fluid dream-like spaces.

I use painting as a sacred tool and space inspired by the ideas of mysticism to communicate and connect with my ancestors and spirits through this practice. The ghostly figures within the scenes emphasize the notion of fading memories, capturing ephemeral experiences that embody the notion of the physical and spiritual. When creating these scenes, they work intuitively as if each brush stroke I make slowly reveals the story. There is a balance between how much visual information should be left in one area of the canvas to another area, leaving some spots ambiguous for the viewer to fill and interpret.

Culturally Specific Art Category

Select Culturally Specific Art Category:: Latino/a Art, Ethnically/Culturally Specific Art

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