HOUS December 2010 : Page 180

LOOK WHO’S TALKING 180 | Bold Strokes Having buckled down for biz school before turning to art, is Garcia ready for a brush with success? | By Tara Seetharam | Photography by Eric Hester | Justin Garcia isn’t your garden-variety starving artist. A savvy entrepreneur—he sold cell-phone accessories in high school—the painter refused to make the transition to artist till he could nancially a ord it. He saved every buck from bartending gigs, and drew a strict career timeline before trading in his U of H biz-school background for a studio near Downtown. at’s not to say the quietly con dent Garcia, who uses words like “overhead” and “learning curve” to describe his career, lacks passion. “Every day, when I’m painting, I get this surreal feeling. Is this really happening? is is my dream.” e self-taught Garcia—who declines to give his age, as he feels it would “limit” him—makes rich, feathery abstract paintings, and sculptures that mix in materials like railroad nails. He’s been pegged as one to watch by art scenesters. And, true to his entrepreneurial bent, he’s marketable, becoming a fave among art-buying tastemakers. He’s among those featured in this month’s private “Art Party” showcase for local artists. He cites travels in Europe—his goal is to retire early and see the world via sailboat—and TV’s Mad Men as in uences. Sinatra’s “My Way” is his favorite song. “I was born in the wrong decade,” Garcia says. “Fedoras, the Rat Pack, expensive three piece suits. I love them.” e charming self-described “homebody” has a girlfriend—and a “di cult childhood” background he won’t discuss, except to say that it led him to become a mentor at last year’s National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, where he taught a course on expressing emotion through art. “If I can give them a little hope that, even as an artist, you can make it,” he says, “it allows them to widen their view of what they can do.” H TEENAGE DREAM A childhood fantasy come true, Garcia’s paintings are popular with art-buying tastemakers. Garcia’s Hots Bordeaux wine, people watching, suspense movies, cigars, ‘ e Big Bang eory,’ Louis Armstrong Garcia’s Nots Soap operas, talking about himself, texting, tweeting, sea urchin, loud restaurants, impatient drivers | December 2010

Look Who's Talking

Tara Seetharam

Justin Garcia isn’t your gardenvariety starving artist. A savvy entrepreneur—he sold cell-phone accessories in high school—the painter refused to make the transition to artist till he could financially afford it. He saved every buck from bartending gigs, and drew a strict career timeline before trading in his U of H biz-school background for a studio near Downtown.<br /> <br /> That’s not to say the quietly cont dent Garcia, who uses words like “overhead” and “learning curve” to describe his career, lacks passion.“Every day, when I’m painting, I get this surreal feeling. Is this really happening? this is my dream.” <br /> <br /> The self-taught Garcia—who declines to give his age, as he feels it would “limit” him—makes rich, feathery abstract paintings, and sculptures that mix in materials like railroad nails. He’s been pegged as one to watch by art scenesters. And, true to his entrepreneurial bent, he’s marketable, becoming a fave among art-buying tastemakers. He’s among those featured in this month’s private “Art Party” showcase for local artists.<br /> <br /> He cites travels in Europe—his goal is to retire early and see the world via sailboat—and TV’s Mad Men as info uences. Sinatra’s “My Way” is his favorite song. “I was born in the wrong decade,” Garcia says.“Fedoras, the Rat Pack, expensive three piece suits. I love them.”<br /> <br /> The charming self-described “homebody” has a girlfriend—and a “difficult childhood” background he won’t discuss, except to say that it led him to become a mentor at last year’s National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, where he taught a course on expressing emotion through art.<br /> <br /> “If I can give them a little hope that, even as an artist, you can make it,” he says, “it allows them to widen their view of what they can do.” <br />

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