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Rocío García’s Guys, Gals, Gaming & Guns, through June 15

Written By Erin Parish
May 16, 2024 at 5:12 PM

“¿Quieres Jugar, Baby?,” 2024, Rocío García. Oil on Canvas, 63 x 74 3/4 in. Photo credit Erin Parish.

Rocío García’s paintings, currently on view at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, echoes humanity’s timeless storytelling impulse. In her collection of eight paintings, García invites spectators to peer into scenes that evoke a staged performance, an open invitation to the voyeurism of the film “Rear Window” with homoerotic undertones.

García’s work blends comic book and film noir aesthetics with beautifully saturated yet limited coloration. These paintings are simultaneously intense and dispassionate, like a comic book or a Lichtenstein.

“Nieva En Shanghai,” 2024, by Rocío García. Oil on canvas, 54 x 69 3/4 in. Photo credit Erin Parish.

The complexity unfurls slowly until we are seduced into decoding these unsettling scenes. Our natural curiosity wins out as we strive to make meaning of the inclusion of a gun or knife, dice or cards, in the scenario.  Weapons and games are nearly ubiquitous and refer to power dynamics.

Close up of García’s “Strip Poker,” 2024. Photo credit Erin Parish.

In entering the exhibition, the viewer is greeted by a simple painting of two nude women in a highly charged red-pink room.

Something is about to happen.

Perhaps this is the moment just prior to a plot twist in the storyline, something juicy. We are free to interpret the meaning of the very sharp scissors and the hand in the drawer, the reflection in the mirror. But which is of primary importance?

Close up of García’s “Alguien Viene,” 2024. Photo credit Erin Parish.

This is the joy of looking at her work, entering her narratives. We search to find the link between the small and specific in the larger interaction between the characters. Her iconography is easily accessible, and the interpretation is ours to enjoy. These devices are consistent throughout her work.

“¿Quieres Jugar, Baby?,” 2024, Rocío García. Oil on Canvas, 63 x 74 3/4 in. Photo credit Erin Parish.

Born in Cuba in 1955 and educated in Cuba and the former Soviet Union, we can assume García is well acquainted with the Neo-Expressionists such as Joerg Immendorf and Francesco Clemente, as well as the German expressionists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Beckmann.

Echoes of their works appear to have informed her paintings and contextualize her flatness and the simplicity of line. She paints but does not push the medium to reinvent itself; rather, García employs the medium to create her narratives. The paint serves her, she does not serve the paint, like Joan Mitchell or Pollock. The imagery is sensual, the color is sensual, the paint handling is not.

“Gracias por el Fuego,” 2024, by Rocío García. Oil on Canvas, 55 1/8 x 70 7/8 in. Photo credit Erin Parish.

The scenes are inhabited by carefully dressed or specifically nude men and women, mildly eroticized. Decidedly gay men and lesbians are the players in these psychodramas, which adds another layer of mystery and specificity, except they are not doing anything out of all human experience. These characters are not fantastical, they seem to be the landscape of her experience: bars, boudoirs, beaches, a café, a pool, and a living room.

Through her deceptively simple paintings, she delves into power dynamics and subtle hierarchies on social, psychological, and political levels.

WHAT: “Guys, Gals, Gaming and Guns” exhibition of painting by Rocío García 

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, until June 15, 2024

WHERE: Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 1540 NE Miami Ct., Miami

 INFORMATION: 305-448-8976 and snitzer.com.

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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