Monica Garza’s paintings are recognisable for the array of playful female characters that waltz, surf and stretch their way across each canvas. Born in Alamogordo, New Mexico and raised in the small town of Warner Robins in Georgia, Monica studied painting and drawing at Syracuse University before transferring to CCA in San Francisco. Following her graduation in 2010, Monica took a three year break to work and travel abroad, with this life experience providing more inspiration for the artist than her studies. On her return, she naturally began to focus on her own work again and now alongside painting, ceramics and sculpting, Monica uses geometric shapes and vibrant colours to celebrate her own culture, life experience and the crucially varying shapes of women.
Monica Garza: “I started making this female character in college in light of my life experiences, my background and being a woman. I have always been drawn to geometric shapes as I love hieroglyphic, Ancient Mayan and Native American arts, so this comes together intrinsically in my work. I didn’t purposefully think too much about these elements - it’s just part of who I am. My interest in these ancient arts influenced a lot of my nude works. I never thought that the nude form was anything to really think about because it’s been so prevalent in art history, so I don’t even really see it as nudity anymore…I admire others who do well in presenting women in a leisurely state like Gustav Courbet and Artemisia Gentileschi who have some beautiful paintings of women. I love the shapes that the female form presents - circles, squares, rectangles. I love nature so I feel like everything comes full circle. I enjoy how human forms interact with one another or other objects to create these shapes, and how paint can obscure them as well.”
I love the shapes that the female form presents - circles, squares, rectangles.