Paintings of a fearless naked woman casually riding a two headed Picasso bull, naked voluptuous woman, with a simple sexy glance, drinking ice coffee in a cafe, naked woman in cowgirl boots straddling a white horse backwards, lasso in hand, no worry in her eyes, naked women in a relaxed embrace smoking multiple cigarettes, naked women at the fish market, the farmer’s market, or playing tennis, volleyball or naked women flaneuring at the beach fill Monica Kim Garza’s exhibition Laredo.
Painted with seemingly quickly paced, equally urgent and impatient, gestural brushstrokes, the female figures and surrounding environments are rendered with just enough detail to set the imagination free. All the women share distinct bodily and ethnical features because they all embody the protagonist; Monica Kim Garza. The wonderful women doing things in the paintings are Garza’s body doubles and soulmates. Multiple self-portraits doing the things Garza does, dreams of, or feels. The unmistakable features are that of a true American, Garza is the daughter of immigrant parents, her mother is of Korean descent and her father of Mexican lineage. Garza has composed an idiosyncratic character that roams through art history and the ups and downs of contemporary life, often nude, and seemingly carefree, but never without purpose. She breaks Gauguin’s glasses and pervy colonializing gaze, taking back female form and freedom. She rides through ancient caves, Egypt and Mesopotamia with Picasso, Basquiat and Frida Kahlo in her posse. The paintings are contemporary and at the same time firmly rooted in art historical motifs and settings. We see Garza portrayed at the artist’s table, in the studio painting herself, or rather her selves, on horseback, on the mountain and reclining on a chaise lounge with La Virgen De Guadalupe resting above her head.
Laredo is an exploration of life through land and water, cigarettes, sex and coffee, food and alcohol. Inspired by the tales of Garza’s father, the exhibition stems from the city of Laredo (Texas, USA) in the American borderland, currently much disputed, and continues on into the world with a curious and fearless eye. Playfulness, sexiness, and all the moments we embody via nature, action and stillness, travel in and out of the works on canvas, paper and ceramics.
Monica Kim Garza’s work embodies a rare energy and potential. Male, female or any gender, you feel empowered by the encounter.
Monica Kim Garza (born 1988 in Alamogodo, New Mexico, USA) lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She holds a BFA in painting and drawing from California College of Arts and has exhibited widely throughout the United States. Garza has participated in various group exhibitions with V1 Gallery, Laredo will be her first solo exhibition with the gallery.