Critics’ Picks

*View of “ektor garcia: cochi,” 2017."

*View of “ektor garcia: cochi,” 2017."

Santa Cruz

ektor garcia

The Greenhouse Project
November 4–December 23, 2017

A small, brown square of leather rests at the corner of el piso (all works 2017), a floor-based gathering of glazed-ceramic rose garlands and spinal forms, drawings on leather, and totems of plastic spools. A simple message is carved into this square, in letters decorated with six-pointed stars (a visual leitmotif of the exhibition): “SOBRE VIVIR.” Survive. Evidence of survival is everywhere in ektor garcia’s work here, taking the form of small, handworked sculptural objects—a pair of aviator sunglasses whose lenses have been replaced with latex and wax linen resembling animal hide, a crocheted doily dipped in latex, and even a small crystal penis, all part of the floor installation cochi. These and other items are aggregated and placed with care on windowsills, on exposed wall studs and bracing, and in sprawling floor installations. In the middle of this remarkable show a hammock swings limply, a promise of rest and self-care amid so much activity.

Garcia’s accumulations are at once fey and macho, melding the domestic and the sadomasochistic in stunning displays of control and abandon. In madre, the artist has amended a vintage piece of floral embroidery with his own images of Santa Muerte, an uncut cock, a marijuana leaf, and handcuffs. A leather strap attached to the verso of the cloth dangles down to the floor and bends languorously next to a ceramic hand, whose fingers are splayed. Two tiny doilies peek out from below two fingers, like crocheted fingerprints trying to escape. The artist’s exhibition is full up with moments like these, miniscule worlds containing complex cosmologies. In attaching ourselves to such gestures—small in scale but significant in import—we join the artist in his call to survive.