New Mexico Artist to Know Now Joe Ramiro Garcia updates us on his current work and studio practice.
This past March (the one that feels approximately 200 years ago) Southwest Contemporary held its second-annual exhibition 12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now. Selected from over 400 submissions, these are the artists we consider to be shaping the landscape of contemporary art in New Mexico.
Just one week after the opening, however, the gallery closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, these artists have continued to create, in terms of art as well as impact in their communities. We’re checking in with each of them to see how they are, and what they’re making now.
Joe Ramiro Garcia
lives in Santa Fe, NM
born in Houston, TX
joeramirogarcia.com | @joeramirogarcia
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your process? Has it changed where, how or when you work? Has it changed the subject matter?
As far as my painting goes, I have been fortunate not to lose my studio and in fact, have had more time to paint during the lockdown. My subject matter really hasn’t changed. There has been an addition of a masked person that has appeared in a couple of paintings. The one thing that has occurred is that I have been adding experimentation to my practice. I am reexamining the media I work with and making notes on adding new media and recipes. Some other projects: my paintbrushes have been getting a lot of cleaning and restoration, and my paint tubes have been color cataloged.
What are your top concerns for the arts and your fellow artists?
My concern for my fellow artists is the lack of opportunity for exhibitions. Some galleries have expressed disinterest in promoting and taking on new artists. Others have adapted to online virtual exhibitions, which is fine, but we really don’t get the happiness of being with people as they discover our work in person. It’s kind of a letdown. Many of us really need sales too, so whatever works.
How has your relationship with art-making changed during this time?
It really hasn’t changed for me. If anything, my relationship with art-making has been further reaffirmed as the path of isolation, review, and formation.
Tell us about your current projects or pieces:
Currently, I am painting and creating works on paper. I am not sure where this body of work will be exhibited. I’m having fun creating very small works that later inform much larger pieces. My goal is to expand my personal craft and subject.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m happy to announce my work will be featured in the upcoming 2020 West Issue of New American Paintings.