Weehawken, New Jersey
France Garrido, an artist living and working in Weehawken, NJ, is know for her hand-cut, highly detailed and intricate, collage/mixed media works. Many of these works exemplify the Visionary and Surrealist genre; where she incorporates sacred geometry, specifically the circle and the circle in the square.
France, who was born in New York City of first generation Spanish and Italian parents, was steeped in both cultures. At a young age her family moved away from the urban environment to a rural one where her love of nature was sparked. There she was allowed to wander freely and explore the magic of the woods and all that presents itself in nature. On a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City she discovered Salvador Dali’s ‘The Crucifixion’. This painting had a profound effect on her and cemented her desire to become an artist.
As a young adult she received a private grant to study the Mexican Mural Masterpieces in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and Taxco, which greatly influenced her art making. It was here that she was introduced, first hand, to the works of Siqueiros, Kahlo, Rivera, O’Gorman, Camerena et al. Simultaneously, her deep exploration of collage and mixed media grew into a lifelong passion. In 2000, she co-founded the Collage/Assemblage Society, NYC, and became master collagist, Jonathan Talbot’s studio assistant, and it was here that she was introduced to other techniques and best practices. She has consistently developed her own unique style and language utilizing appropriated, self-generated, and manipulated images with a host of other elements and materials.
There have been great influences in France’s life that have inspired her artistic growth of which nature and spirit are key to that growth. She works on an intuitive level and lets the piece speak to her during the process, whether she has intent or not. Experimenting with several mediums (pen and ink, fabric, paint, graphite, colored pencil, tile, collage and mixed media) presented different challenges, characteristics, and possibilities to the execution of a piece of art. Presently, her primary medium is mixed media/collage, which she finds endlessly fascinating. France is incorporating the mediums she has explored and is adding new materials to the creation of her new work.
France began using the circle as imagery in her work in 1978 when her awareness of the earth, the feminine nature, and the spirit commenced. The circle and the circle in the square are sacred and universal symbols present in all religions and cultures. With it she is seeking to touch, deep within the viewers spirit, a truth or essence. ‘Tribal people’ as well as other artists, particularly from the visionary and surrealist schools of art, have influenced her work including Joseph Cornell, Dorothea Tanning, Dali, Remedios Varo, Egon Schiele, Jorge Gonzalez Camarena, Hannah Hoch, Native Americans, Aboriginal Peoples, Eastern Indian Culture and many others, known and unknown.
France is a board member of the Society for Art of Imagination, where she is instrumental in developing exhibition opportunities for the Society. She works hand-in-hand with Brigid Marlin, Olga Spiegel and Miguel Tio’, some of the finest Visionary artists of this century, to promote Visionary Art and the Societies involvement in this movement.
France’s work has been exhibited at the UN Conference on Women, Beijing, China, the Museum of Fantastic Art, Wein/Vienna, Murphy Hill Gallery, Chicago, IL, The Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NJ, ‘Visionaries’, QCC Art Gallery, NY and most recently at the One Art Gallery, NYC and The Worshipful Company of Bakers, London, England. Her work was also included in ‘Lexikon der Phantastischen Künstler’, a compilation of International Artists from 60 countries, Fantastic, Surreal, Visionary, and Symbolic, Author/Curator Gerhard Habarta.