Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1970

Involved in the arts since an early age under the teachings of Nidia Serra, a well known Dominican artist; her weekly visits to the Museum of Modern Art and her collections of posters, long plays, stamps, cans, books, wrappers, packages and anything that she found visually interesting.

She received her AAS from Altos de Chavon/The School of Design, affiliated with Parsons the New School of Design, in her native Dominican Republic in 1989. Received an scholarship to attend Parsons Summer Program in 1988 and later received her BFA in Communication Design from Parsons The School of Design in 1991, after being awarded the Ruth Vanderpool Parsons Institutional Scholarship for Portfolio Excellence. 

While Garcia has been actively developing her art with mixed media, drawings, installations, video art, printmaking and big format paintings, also maintains a career in fashion graphics for companies like Guess Jeans, Gap, Rocawear, Calvin Klein Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger, and others. In the early 2000’s, she founded her own graphic company, VOX Publicus which is an “on-going” collaboration with her fine arts practice.

iliana emilia garcia works in big format drawings on canvas and paper, escalating installations, printmaking and digital photos on canvas depicting her most iconic symbol: the chair.

The base of her work is the emotional history of everyday things. It’s not about the geographical or physical history, but about the value we give to what we keep from the landscapes we come from; and that we unconsciously keep with us through crossroads. The symbols that seem to breed from the memory of our heritage.

Garcia has been using the chair as her personal instrument related to tradition and visual history; and one of the most public of signs, the heart, as the symbol to represent the intimate side of a communal activity as it is to feel and to interpret. She intends these icons to tell history and to remember it; precisely our basic need of emotional comfort, and our sense of loss and gain.

Her work has been writing about in numerous art publications and catalogues, and exhibited at BRIC, Brooklyn, NY; Exit Art, NY; No Longer Empty at Sugar Hill, NY; The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; El Museo del Barrio, NY; Aljira Center of Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ; Leonora Vega Gallery,NY; Howard Scott Gallery, NY; NOMAA, NY; Joan Guaita, Spain; the 3rd Triennial Poli-Grafica, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Barnard College, NY; Museo de Arte Moderno de El Salvador; Belgium and many other venues. Her work is part of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art collection, El Museo del Barrio’s collection, the Museo de Arte Moderno of Dominican Republic and several private collections.

She is also a founding member of the Dominican York Proyecto Grafica (DYPG), a printmaking collective

Garcia currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.