A Star is Born
Andria Garcia’s Art of The Cosmos
By Charly Himmel
Imagine the quad on a mild summer evening. You lay on your back in the damp grass, gazing up at a dusting of stars in the muted city sky. You try and imagine how Orion’s belt could light up a country road; how intense the view from an aerial arena unspoiled by smog and pollution.
You detect a bright puncture in the corner of the sky. How have you never noticed this star before? Its radiance trumps anything else in the cosmos. Could it be that it’s getting brighter?
You squint; grasp the solid ground below when you realize it is hurtling toward your infinitesimal body on this tiny planet! Brace yourself; it’s getting closer now! Closer! Prepare to crash! Prepare to—
This was the dream that Brooklyn College BFA art student Andria Garcia actualized when she created her installation, All Stars. In her dream, this renegade shooting star crashed into her body to fulfill the prophecy of her becoming a ‘star,’ both in the astrological and pop cultural sense.
“The star also gave me powers to eject paint from my wrists at any given time,” Garcia explained. “This dream was so strange and radical that it stuck with me. I began to think of ways to try and describe it in words, but visually describing it seemed better.”
Charged with her vision, Garcia set about deciphering the prophecy. She took a course on cosmology, and learned about the formation of the universe, and the life cycle of stars. In her artist statement, she cites this phenomenon as inspiration for her work.
“The life cycle of the stars expresses the duality of creation and destruction,” Garcia’s statement reads. “The transformations that can alter our states of mind and question our purpose in life.”
And what a transformation her thesis show was. Garcia’s friends and family gathered around the brightly colored nebulae for her opening reception last Wednesday April 3. All Stars featured a galaxy of mixed-media work out of foam board, marker, watercolors, black ink, paint, and glitter—most of which Garcia completed just this semester.
“It’s inspirational,” said attendee Sheldon Thompson, a graphic design major at Kingsborough Community College. “It has alot to do with life, how people evolved throughout the years as human beings and how they see the world in themselves and how they’re always changing, always evolving.”
Citing a myriad of inspirations from Mickalene Thomas to Georgia O’Keeffe, Garcia also references female sexuality with her explosive spirals of colorful forms. But visual art isn’t the only endeavor for this young starlet; as a budding singer, Garcia is also inspired by her love of music.
“Ever since I was a young girl, music has been one of my passions,” Garcia admits. “I used to put on concerts in my living room, sit all my stuffed animals, and put on a show… As far as my own original music, that did not come about till 2009 when a good friend of mine introduced me to writing and recording my own songs.”
As a first generation Dominican, Garcia grew up listening to the artists that popularized Latin fusion such as Selena and Gloria Estefan. Today, she writes her own music, and has collaborated with many rappers and producers.
Garcia came to Brooklyn College as a transfer student from Kingsborough. There, she found support in the faculty, and obtained an associates degree in fine art. But she felt she still needed direction as an artist, and found it at Brooklyn College.
“Coming into Brooklyn College was very exciting for me,” Garcia recants. “I felt like I was a part of this loving family from day one and I felt like I was given more freedom as a young adult. The BFA program has really helped me come into my own and has given me a group of lifelong friends that are interested in the art world just like me.”
The future is dazzling for Garcia. After she graduates, she will begin a summer internship working for an established studio artist. She will also release her long-awaited music project, “Art Comes First.”
“It is a fusion of urban pop, R&B, and dance, so there’s a variety of genres for everybody. There’s also some spoken word on the project, which was exciting for me to create because it was the first time I had recorded a spoken piece for my music.”
You can keep up with Andria Garcia on Twitter @ArtComesFirst, and follow her on Instagram @andriagarciapmg. She also has a profile on ParanoidMusik.com with more information and samples of her music.
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