Quick Q with a creative: Artist Matthew Willie Garcia

Matthew Wille Garcia

Matthew Willie Garcia is a KU graduate student whose new work is displayed at a museum in Overland Park.

Matthew Willie Garcia’s latest work is a series of screen prints entitled “Quantum States and Queer Realities.”

Garcia is an artist and “queer interdimensional explorer” from Tulare, CA. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at the University of Kansas. 

I was very hyperactive and had a lot of problems with attention as a child. When I finally started taking art classes, it really became the thing that I just wanted to keep doing.

I did it all of my childhood through high school and in college I decided I wanted to teach. While I was going through junior college, I was also taking art classes and at some point I was taking significantly more art classes than education classes. That’s when I realized it was my main focus and what I cared about the most. 

I had a professor that suggested I apply to KCAI.

At the Junior College I went to, a lot of the professors were KCAI alum, so it was an easy transition. I did it without visiting the school, but I loved it there. I hated the snow, but stayed anyways. I took a few years off between undergrad and grad school, but my partner lives in Kansas City so I knew I wanted to stay in the area. I applied to Washington University and KU and I decided that Lawrence is a lot closer to KC than St. Louis. 

Matthew Willie Garcia

Matthew Willie Garcia's piece titled "Superposition of a Queer Existence."

I love KU. This is my third and final year, so I’m working on my thesis show. 

The show is open to anybody and it’s at the Visual Art and Design Gallery in Chalmers Hall from Feb. 24 until March 5. I came to graduate school as a means of being able to teach at the collegiate level; most colleges require you to have a Master of Fine Arts to teach art. When I got here, I really pushed myself to expand my body of work.

I was making very different work before I started at KU. 

I think the freedom to just make work and not have to worry about showing or having it be the thing that supports me has really changed my work, because I have this ability to just explore myself and explore the research that I’ve been doing.

As an artist, I’m really interested in astrophysics and quantum mechanics. 

I’m thinking about time and space in a very specific way and trying to get to a higher sense of dimensionality. I’m trying to get the viewer to move past our own understanding of the dimension we exist in and try to think about things which our brains are actually incapable of doing. When I say I’m an interdimensional explorer, I’m just curious and researching stuff and sometimes I like to pretend I’m an alien.

My latest series of works is called "Quantum States and Queer Realities."

It’s using quantum mechanics as an analogy to talk about queerness. It’s based on the idea that something, someone, two people or many people can be entangled in such an extreme way that they react instantaneously to each other. It’s thinking about how relationships occur between bodies.

I have some work at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park.

There’s a show called “Queer Abstraction” and they invited local artists to be a part of the conversation, so I have an animated installation in there as well as two drawings. The show begins Nov. 21 and it’s at the museum until March.

Click here to view Garcia’s website

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad