"These images define diaspora as an emotional condition of the heart, and the relationship between a nation and its dispersed people as that of star-crossed lovers separated by insurmountable distances of space and time. The pictures themselves- which were shot in Montauk, Long Island, and not in Dominican Republic-record longing and displacement."
E. Carmen Ramos, for the "Our America" Catalogue about the Unknown distances/Undiscovered islands series
"Analyzing the work of Iliana Emilia García through this framework illuminates the active nature of her practice. Her work emphasizes the means with which we travel distances, or the ways we traverse linguistic, cultural, or conceptual bridges. The work functions as a means with which to translate and through the creation of her own signs and symbols, which are emblematic of her conceptions of emotional histories, she can move between mediums, forms, and sites. Therefore, a work such as “Story Piles” uses ordinary objects as signs which pull at the myriad of histories within “The Tunnel” in New York as well as the histories within her own life and the lives of her visitors".
Ana Perry, for the Latino Studies Conference, Chicago 2015
"Words and text have traditionally played a significant role in iliana emilia’s art. There is never a conventional written narrative in her art, yet words are used as signs in her complex web of meanings. In her drawings, plastic box constructions and other pieces, words convey an almost random sense of direction. Yet once the words are read and comprehended together, they form patterns as strong as the visual labyrinths that she constructs for us. Iliana emilia plays with the eye and the mind, the intellect and the emotions."
Edward Sullivan, for the catalogue of "Chosen Hearts", 2001
"iliana emilia garcia, tweaks Bruce Nauman's neon phraseologies through the eyes of an immigrant completely familiar with contemporary Western art. By combining Spanish words with an omnipresent American-style usage of the cartoon-shaped heart which means "love", she blurs public with private in a strangely humanist and touching, blazing affirmation."
Deborah Cullen, Excerpt from "In these days", for the S-Files catalogue, El Museo del Barrio, New York
"What Iliana Emilia’s art really provides is a vision that melds past and present in a new mythology, on which she has been steadfastly working by following a process that has allowed her to produce highly purged, sensitive works that define a form of poetics. Her personal, ineffable, imaginative poetics. The poetic inscriptions written in her own hand around the images refer to the ut pictura poesis or, in the words of Joan Miró, “I make no distinction between painting and poetry”.
Maria Lluisa Borras, for "Chosen Hearts", 2001