This 22-Year-Old Artist Wants You to Put Your Phone Away
At 22, Brilliant Garcia has accomplished more than people twice her age.
Photo by Danny Liao
The L.A.-based visual artist, DJ and creative director is perpetually at the forefront of the city’s most well-received aesthetic projects. The Texas transplant has been instrumental in creating a new wave of art-focused nightlife in the city and redefining the border between art and music in L.A. For example, she created “No Service,” a recurring live art experience at the Belasco Theatre, combining theater, music and visual art.
Where does she get this creative impulse? Ask Garcia and the first thing she’ll say is that she was raised by love.
She looks back on her upbringing as being filled with happiness, support and the space to be herself and grow. Her mother was particularly influential in her life as the source of her kindness and fearlessness, and also as the catalyst for her career. Right before Garcia was set to leave Texas for L.A., her mother died suddenly in a car accident. The moment changed Garcia’s life forever, pulling the proverbial rug out from beneath her. Garcia says she realized that she was “really alone, really alive and had no idea what to do.”
It’s often noted that tragedy can breed triumph, and that was the case for Garcia. Rather than recoiling from the loss and re-evaluating her plans, Garcia charged forward and was rewarded for her dedication. And while she’s still figuring out how to live without her mother, she cites her mom as the source of it all: “It’s important to know that when you see me, you’re seeing my mother — her presence, her gifts. She is the reason for my everything.”
Since coming to L.A., Garcia has participated in and initiated some of the most creative and revolutionary artistic projects in a city already known for innovation and boundary-pushing. Her “No Service” parties are phone-free sensual experiences curated entirely by women. By asking attendees to be fully present, Garcia hopes to change how L.A. experiences itself.
“It’s important to know that when you see me, you’re seeing my mother — her presence, her gifts,” Garcia says.
Photo by Danny Liao
Everything Garcia creates is as purposeful as she is. Her latest DJ mix, “The Art of Listening,” is more of a guided meditation than a party soundtrack. Combining music, secretly recorded clips of conversations and ambient sounds, the mix urges listeners to look within, examine their motivations and take care of themselves.
Garcia has served as creative director on several visual projects and is always driven by the desire to empower women. She wants to change how women view themselves, and what they feel capable of. She says she’s “never shot a man” — with a camera or otherwise — and is not interested in doing so. She feels an instinct to highlight the intricate beauty of women and hasn’t yet been compelled to deviate from that path.
Garcia has a clothing line, an art book and several other creative projects coming out this year. When asked what makes her so productive, she replied, “I just get it. I really do. I always have. I don’t really have a choice.”
Whether Garcia was bestowed with divine purpose or whether she is simply a young woman blessed with incredible vision and drive, she will continue to make work that pushes us all forward. In a city where so many are concerned with surfaces, she is singularly focused on, and in tune with, her core. This is what makes her successful. This is what makes her Brilliant.
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