Camille Rose Garcia and her Beautiful Misery
If I had to pick my favourite artist in the last few years, I think it would be Camille Rose Garcia. I look at the artwork and everything goes silent. My thoughts are still. I am simply absorbing everything on the page.
The characters are dripping, drowning, coated in misery while maintaining beauty.
I generally don't buy art books, but I buy Garcia's. And I can't wait until her toy company PITCO is launched.
From her biography:
Camille Rose Garcia was born in 1970 in Los Angeles, California and grew up in the generic suburbs of Orange County, visiting Disneyland and going to punk shows with the other disenchanted youth of that era. Her paintings of creepy cartoon children living in wasteland fairy tales are critical commentaries on the failures of capitalist utopias. Creative influences include Phillip K. Dick, William Burroughs, Henry Darger,Walt Disney, as welll as politically aware bands like The Clash and Dead Kennedys. Her recent solo show, Ultraviolenceland, explored ideas of violence and empire.
I have such an artist's crush on her. She had me at "Dead Kennedys".
Turns out she did the artwork for Sieg Howdy, an album by Jello Biafra and the Melvins (a sound that's a bit hardcore for my taste these days...am I getting old?).
She's put together a slideshow version of nine prints to tell the story of Creepcake's Bakery where a snack company is more than it appears to be. This is actually great since it was a limited collection of 25 copies and the chances of me getting my hands on one are unlikely.
I encourage you to visit her website and explore her world. Not only is the art inspiring, but her sense of humour is entertaining. For example, one of her FAQs is "I emailed you and you never wrote back". The answer?
I know, and I'm sorry to everyone I never wrote back and I'm pre-sorry to all that will write to me in the future, to whom I will also maybe never write back, but maybe I will. I also forget birthdays, don't return phone calls, never ever return library books or rented movies and always do my taxes late. Laundry and dishes never get done, dogs hang around with balls in their mouths, tails wagging, and still I sit and draw, trapped in my own creepy inner world. It's terrible, I know, but the cold hard facts are that If I did all those things I would never, ever have time to paint. So things go undone and come unravelled, friendships collect dust and dentists keep sending me those little annoying cards reminding me of checkups.
But I do read each and every one of the emails, thank you thank you thank you for all the nice comments, interesting artwork, links, and pictures of tattoos you have sent. I really do appreciate it even though you may never know it. Just think of me as that deadbeat Dad you never met that is actually thinking of you sometimes when he is drunk at the bar. Now do you forgive me?