Interview with Sergio Garcia for ‘Infinite Circles’

Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘Infinite Circles‘ from Dallas based artist Sergio Garcia. For this newest body of work, Garcia has created oversized sculptures of skateboard wheels to pay a playful homage to the defining adolescent subculture of the 1990s and 2000s.

Garcia views the skateboard wheel as an integral, yet often overlooked symbol of the skateboarding ethos. To Garcia, once a set of wheels has been used, they assume a new significance, representing the places (and surfaces) skated, like a trophy or badge of honor for teenage rites of passage.

In anticipation of ‘Infinite Circles,’ our interview with Sergio Garcia discusses skateboard culture’s influence on his creative voice, how he pushes himself as an artist, and the most rewarding moment of his career thus far.

SH: For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

SG: I started in graffiti and then I got into murals and automotive airbrushing, where I airbrushed cars and motorcycles. That then evolved into my contemporary work.

SH: What is the inspiration behind ‘Infinite Circles’?  

SG: This group of work is a bunch of skateboard wheels, infinite circles the title is a play on initials “IC”(infinite crew), a graffiti crew I’m a part of. One of my first solo shows was titled Infinite Chapters, I’ve always liked the play on the initials “IC” and how it pertains to skateboard wheels, I feel that there are an infinite selection and combinations for skateboarders to choose from.

SH: How did you determine what wheels/skate brands you were going to create wheels for? Is there a significance behind the chosen brands?

SG: With skateboarding, there’s a core group of brands. I kind of chose these more for the graphics and ones that I really liked. I felt that they would aesthetically look good as a sculpture. I’m a big fan of skateboarding and skateboarding graphics, the hardest part is narrowing down which ones I want to do because there are so many others I’d love to do.

SH: How did this exhibition challenge you and your skills as an artist?

SG: I’ve done the wheels before in different sizes. Some of these are 10in which is the smallest ones I’ve done. I’ve tried to make some of these really aged and some of them coned and ridden. The way my work normally goes is I learn while I go with materials and paint sheens and oxidized colors for aging. This group challenged me to make them look more aged.

SH: What is your favorite part of the creative process?

SG: I feel I have the most fun creating them when they’re really thrashed out.

SH: We are in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s an unprecedented time, and it’s a weird time – What is your approach to life during this time?

SG: Honestly living in Texas I’ve been getting a lot of sun, skateboarding, and working in the studio a lot…so nothing has changed really on that aspect. When it first started I was kind of wrapped up in learning about it and how it hit the U.S. I still somewhat read up on it but not as much. I never really was a going out to bars type of person anyway so my lifestyle didn’t change a whole lot in that tip.

SH: What is your favorite local spot to pick up some take out?

SG: There’s a Krishna temple/restaurant called Kalachandjis, I’ve been going to that place since I was a teenager. I really love that place.

SH: What has been one of the most rewarding or exciting moments of your art career thus far?

SG: I got asked to do a traveling show with Santa Cruz Skateboards. It’s a traveling show of all of the original drawing concepts from the 80s. That and I had George Powell of Powell Peralta commission a piece for the new  Powell Peralta headquarters.

SH: Who are some of your creative influences?

SG: I’m really influenced by everyday objects, skateboard graphics, graffiti, and music, and subcultures.

SH: If your work inspired a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor, what would be the ingredients and the name of the pint?

SG: I know there’s a Cherry Garcia, so I would try to not include my last name. I would call it Infinite Coconut it would be Coconut ice cream mixed with real strawberries and toasted coconut flakes. I’ve always liked coconut custard.

SH: How old were you when you first got a skateboard? Was it a real board or a toy board?

SG: I was like 8 or 9.  I got a G&S Neil Blender Coffee Break Mini Board. It had tracker trucks and Bullet wheels. I got it from a place called Skate Time by Bauchman Lake. Home of the legendary Blue Ramp/Clown Ramp. I love how Jeff Grosso (r.i.p) would show love to that ramp and Texas in his Love Letter episodes. Jeff was a real one.

SH: Do you feel skate culture has influenced your artistic voice?

SG: Big time. Not just these, but my next group of sculptures as well.

Join us LIVE on Instagram, Saturday, August 22nd from 1 to 2 pm PST while we tour ‘Infinite Circles‘ along with new work from Sarah Joncas and Anthony Clarkson.