Nona Garcia is part of a generation of young artists who are quickly making new developments to contemporary art. Their grasp on contemporary culture brings together a distinctive blend of urban, astute know-how with the cosmopolitan, heavily influenced by local pop culture and Western media sources. Although still relatively new, their messages are no less profound, overlaid with deep introspection and thought.
As both her parents are doctors, Nona's childhood years were spent playing within the white walls of a hospital, a subject which she continues to explore. As her foray into art making developed, she began to include materials such as x-ray films and surgical instruments in some of her works. Almost always there is a hospital theme to her paintings and exhibitions as she admits to being fascinated by the concept of emptiness.
Nona works skilfully with detail so as to give a surrealist and photographic image of her chosen subject. According to the artist, photographs make it possible for her to do experimentations with reflections when the light hits the objects. Using photographs as references, she works her canvas, transforming the unexciting and ordinary into something remarkable. Although she is drawn to notions of emptiness and isolation, she is very much attuned to the idea that the silent life of objects and scenes possess an aura of peculiarity, mystery, and magic.
In this recent work, Nona examines the correspondence between painting and photography in her photorealistic monochromes. She paints sitters with their attention clearly on other things, painting only the backs of their heads, and leaving the viewer to face a remote and inaccessible place. The transfer of image to painting surrenders a mannered tenderness that echoes Nona's very straightforward process of grid-by-grid painting from photographs, and the solid conceptual underpinnings that characterize her oeuvre.