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A matter of trust

Adam Garcia’s latest exhibition asks artists to put faith in his fingertips.
Wes Winship of Co Exhibitions explains the ideas behind, “Trust me!” which is on display through August 6th.
Wes Winship of Co Exhibitions explains the ideas behind, “Trust me!” which is on display through August 6th.




What: âÄúTrust Me!âÄù

When: Now through August 6

Where: CO Exhibitions

Graphic designer and Minneapolis native Adam Garcia has made a career out of creatively mining his talents in the commercial service of others. ThereâÄôs the capital-driven interest of Nike, for whom heâÄôs designed sneakers. ThereâÄôs also the fantastical art he generated for this yearâÄôs Soundset music festival. Even though his occupation welcomes an inspired mind, itâÄôs rarely in the name of Adam Garcia.

This makes it all the more interesting that his latest show at MinneapolisâÄô CO Exhibitions, aptly titled âÄúTrust Me!,âÄù shows Garcia wrapped once again in a blanket of other artistsâÄô interests.

The 2006 MCAD graduateâÄôs 28-piece exhibition is an amalgamation of re-envisioned photographs, paintings and illustrations from both local and national artists. Garcia, who currently lives in Portland, had 28 friends and colleagues submit a work for him to retool.

âÄúThe original emails I sent out to everyone had âÄòtrust meâÄô at the end with an exclamation point,âÄù he said. âÄúIt was kind of a humorous thing in the original email, but it ended up being the name of the show.âÄù

Even with the diversity in source material, GarciaâÄôs overarching aesthetics are decidedly unified. Each print shares the same dimensions along with a limited orange-black color pallet. These rigorous rules to the process may have stemmed from GarciaâÄôs 9-to-5 mindset.

âÄúI wanted this to be really fun and loose, but I found that I couldnâÄôt get away from wrapping it up in this overall system,âÄù he said. âÄúAs soon as I wrote âÄòtrust meâÄô in the original email I was like âÄòOh my god, that has to be a logo.âÄôâÄù

Even with a mechanized approach to shared attributes, the source material has allowed for a wide expanse of geometry and subject matter. Garcia reappropriated the enveloping floral curves of Portland artist Lloyd Eugene Winter IV toward a smiling cartoon character drenched in psychedelic bliss. Other submitted works like the vanity-laden photography of Twin Cities native Brad Ogbonna approach socio-political realms through GarciaâÄôs stark contrasts of African and European identity.

âÄúWhen you look at [BradâÄôs] imagery, a lot of his subjects are white women in their early twenties in these party atmospheres,âÄù Garcia said. âÄúThereâÄôs always been something to me that was a little racial about it, so him being in Minneapolis and what that means was with me through the whole process.âÄù

The showâÄôs greatest asset may be this range of exploration. The geometric influences of his source material resound most clearly in moments of simplistic association, particularly in the sexually charged pieces. ItâÄôs also these contentious topics that spark questions of reappropriation and recontextualization. For Garcia, these ideas of authority were a conscious part of the process.

âÄúWe live in an age where there is this big screen-printed poster culture,âÄù he said. âÄúIn that culture, thereâÄôs a lot of collaboration and reappropiation, and some of itâÄôs really controversial. Whose work is whose? Where does it come from? How long does it have to be before you can reference it in your own work?âÄù

Even in regards to the showâÄôs more confrontational moments, Garcia says that the submitted artists have the kind of minds and strength to curb any creative differences. Looking at the vibrant diversity and depth to his work, he seems like the kind of guy you can, well, trust.

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