Lighting the Town Queer with Didier García
As the energy healer whispered to me how our creative energies are situated just above our groins, I managed a nod. That makes sense, I guess, though having a creative impulse doesn’t usually feel like being on the verge of sexual ecstasy. Until I met Didier García.
“Heart-ons!” exclaimed Didier, who confesses that there’s little difference between his artistic and sexual passions.
García hands me two circular pins, each with designs of little heart-embedded genitals. “I want to do shirts, prints, totes, pillows, make it sort of a factory to send this message.” His ideas range from a public light-up confessional box to a DIY tagging kit. For now, he’s getting ready to experiment with projections of his images for his upcoming Festival show.
“Light graffiti, I call it. I’m not damaging or defacing something, but using light as a means to explore to a message.”
The goal? Arousing conversation. “Maybe we want to record people’s reactions. . . . We talked about going to bars and having guerrilla sex conversations,” he says and laughs. “Sex is mysterious and complex, and people are not talking about it enough. It goes beyond the gay or queer, and it’s kind of a human thing”
SexoLatex, a 1992 three-poster campaign that came out in Philadelphia, inspired Garcia’s recent show SEXO, which showed at the William Way Center this past spring. “From this exhibit was the inspiration for Heart-On.”
García explains why engaging conversation literally turns him on. “It’s because I’m talking about my heart. When you’re open and loving and vulnerable, that takes courage and courage takes love.” At this point, I realize that sexual frankness was never my forte, though I’m not the only one dealing with the residue of a religious education.
A multimedia artist and ex-minister, García had his heart on music before he went to school for media studies and business. He discovered graphic design during his senior year and started designing corporate logos.
Now he’s exploring branding, print, web, and installation and “more outside guerrilla kind of work.” There’s a possibility to do set design, something he’s never done before. “Why not?”
For all the boundlessness that García embraces, he knows how and where to be productive. “There’s all these ideas . . . it would be to my benefit to plan out some of these things so they can happen, or else I’m just going to stay in that state of ideation, you know?”And why have more to worry about when your only problem is creative blue-balls? “There’s this freshness [of being an outsider] that, had I been brought to graduate school, I don’t know if I would’ve been where I’m at.”
García’s commitment to experimentation has gotten him to a place he couldn’t have predicted, and he hopes that facing his and others’ fears will bring him further.
“Anytime I feel that I’m scared running into something, that’s a good sign that there’s something good on the other side.”
Get Your Heart On will be premiering for free at various locations on September 1, 6-8, 15, 20-22, and 27-29 at 9 PM, as well as September 14 at noon. Get your tickets here!