When you see a painting by Monica Garza, it’s hard not to notice. Her work revolves around nude, sex positive, full-figured women who are locked in, no matter what the scenario. Whether lifting weights, riding skateboards, having sex, playing basketball, drinking almond milk, riding bikes, or canoeing, her raw and vivid brushstrokes
bring these women to life. While her Recreational world exists inside art galleries, they’ve also adorned skateboards (she’s collaborated with 5boro), album covers (Fatima’s And Yet It’s All Love), and even the walls of the Outdoor Voices office. As such, it only felt natural to catch up with Monica and figure out what makes her brain tick.
01. How do you describe what you do?
Raw human connection. Paintings. Sculpture.
My existence is built into my intrinsic being but I find that the core of human existence is the same for us all and painting helps me see that.
02. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Pray to God and breathe. Then I take my dog out.
03. What’s your favorite piece of work you’ve created?
A long time ago I made a ceramic elephant and it was very simple but very me. It was one of the first sculptures I made.
04. What’s your biggest influence?
Nature and my father. My father gave me the balls to be me and nature gave me the hope and the space to breathe.
05. What would be your dream collaboration?
Chanel or Alexander McQueen.
06. How does movement play into your work? Either in your style, or process, or how movement is represented in your work.
I like a brushstroke that really moves. I like seeing the movement in that, as I move a lot when I paint.
07. What’s your favorite recreational activity?
I’ve been big on cycling for the past two years.
08. What’s your best tip for Doing Things?
Pretty classic but just do it.
10. Where is your favorite place to move?
There’s this nice trail not too far from me that leads up to the creek, and I love bringing my dog there in the summer. The grass is super tall and when you get to the creek there’s a little dog beach.
10. What do you want to see more of in the world?
11. What’s your favorite depiction of exercise in art?
Probably the Roman marble sculptures of Olympic Gods. Not necessarily in “action” but the poses depicting the idea of muscle.
You can check out more of Monica’s art and keep up with all of her most current exhibitions here.