Garcia, Jason – “Beats” Clay Tiles
Jason Garcia is known for his clay tiles. They are native clay and painted with native clay slips. The work focuses on Native culture, often filtered through a modern lens. This piece is entitled, “Beats”. The tile captures a Santa Clara woman with a water jar on her head. Of course, there is the immediate hint toward the photography of Edward Curtis. However, Jason has found the modern “Beat” to the piece, with her listening to her “i-Corn” phone while she is walking. Of course, there are numerous humorous and cultural references throughout. Look at the back of the phone, there is a corn plant. Jason calls these his “i-Corn” phones. In the background, there is the kiva and kiva ladder to her right. To the left is another kiva. The TV antennas are Jason’s way of identifying Santa Clara Pueblo (and it’s patron saint, Saint Clara, the patron saint of televisions!). Of course, the raincloud in the upper left is iconic for Jason’s work, as it speaks to the early polychrome work of his relative Van Gutierrrez and others from the Pueblo. The piece was traditionally fired, which is reflected in the coloration on the back. It is signed on the back, “Okuu Pin” which is Jason’s name in Tewa (which means Turtle Mountain).