Jimmy Garcia was born in El Salvador in 1980, the same year the brutal Salvadoran Civil War began. A year later, his family escaped and migrated to the United States, where they settled in Arizona.
The harrowing experience took its toll on Jimmy’s parents as they struggled financially to build a new life. With little disposable income, they could not afford to buy toys for their young toddler. So, Jimmy learned quickly to develop his imagination.
“Most of my toys were found outside, lost in the sand at playgrounds. I used to play with ketchup packets and pretend they were cars. Sometimes I'd find the yellow mustard ones and that would be a sports car,” Jimmy said.
Today, Jimmy’s imagination is revealed through his bold, contemporary mixed media sculptures that are influenced by the Steampunk genre. Using up-cycled materials, such as copper, steel, aluminum, PVC, plaster and foam, he creates evocative pieces that explore the human condition and themes relating to science fiction.
“I love Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic themes. Those genres influence my pieces as well as other artists, such as Hajime Sorayama and H.R. Giger. Media influences me as well. Films like Metropolis, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Terminator and Ex Machina are fascinating,” he said.
His interest in technology and advanced computer skills also influence his work, fueling his obsession with artificial intelligence and robotics.
A self-taught artist, Jimmy worked as a production artist and a graphic designer before pursuing his passion to create mixed media sculptures in his spare time. He currently works as an art director for an auction house, which also has influenced his work.
“Looking at antiques and old equipment gives me new ideas for new pieces. The auction house is like a weekly estate sale for me as I get to see new materials come through that have potential. I also get to see a lot of art come through the doors which inspires me,” he said, adding that he has purchased everything from plumbing fittings, paints and light fixtures to cables, flatware and other miscellaneous pieces at auction.
His styles are realistic, abstract and non-objective with a slight Art Deco influence. All of his work is done from his imagination while working in his home studio in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I never sketch anything,” Jimmy said. “I typically find a piece and build from that. I sketch in my mind and continue to build the piece and make changes as I work.”
Many of his pieces include electrical lighting systems that either bring a piece alive with the use of Edison style bulbs to create an atmosphere that brings the viewer in.
“I love lighting, and I put a lot of thought behind how I will use LED and standard bulbs, sconces and other lighting accessories to add to the atmosphere of each piece,” he said.
His sculptures range in size from small table-top pieces to life-size wall sculptures that collectors have featured as focal points in their homes and offices. Because of the paints he uses, his work is best displayed indoors.
When he’s not working on his art, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his wife and young son. In addition, he volunteers to help WHAM (What’s Happen’n Art Movement) with marketing efforts to promote West Valley artists in the Surprise & Phoenix metropolitan areas.
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