Jena Lacomis Garcia
Jena Lacomis Garcia (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania August 5, 1971) is an American photographer, musician, and writer known for her conceptual self-portraits. She has also compiled a collection of prose, book reviews and photo essays. Lacomis Garcia currently works in New York.
Lacomis Garcia grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was educated at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Although enrolled as a photography student, Lacomis Garcia also studied film editing and gender studies. She left Philadelphia in 1992 to explore the United States with her camera, and quickly found a home in St. Paul, Minnesota. She relocated to Seattle, Washington in 1998 and completed an undergraduate degree soon after her arrival there at Evergreen State College.
Drawn to the New York City publishing world, Lacomis Garcia applied for an internship at the Aperture Foundation as a fulfillment of her final year's requirements and was accepted. Educated as a Traveling Exhibitions Assistant in Aperture's Burden Gallery, she met with classical and contemporary photographers such as Eikoh Hosoe, Nick Waplington, Mary Ellen Mark, and was responsible for the care of the Limited Edition print collection. During her residence in New York, she made her first trip abroad to Paris, France.
Lacomis Garcia's work typically consists of self-portraits and quiet landscapes. Her photographs have been featured in independent visual arts magazines Cake, Arcade, and TenbyTen as well as in a visual arts showcase in London called Girls on Film. She has had several solo and group exhibitions at galleries such as Icebox Gallery in Minneapolis, Kuppernicus, Master Framers, and ReDesign Studio in St. Paul and Zeitgeist and JEM Studios in Seattle.
Lacomis Garcia created several short films while living in Olympia, Washington. Mo and Floss, told cinéma vérité, is a short film that takes place over the one-and-a-half hour bus ride from Olympia to Seattle. A random and poignant moment sets off a discussion between Lacomis Garcia and a pair of just-released ex-convicts who discuss their past in prison and their aspirations for the future. Swim, a self-portrait, told via collages of childhood photos, film stills and digital footage that follows Lacomis Garcia on an innocent walk is propelled with a borrowed soundtrack. Kauri, a documentary about an actress turned social worker who contemplates the meaning of life and significant career change. She recalls recent tragic events, losing everything she owned to a sudden house fire and shortly thereafter losing her partner to a sudden death, that changed her outlook forever and the sense of peace she gathers from working with abused and exploited women. The film featured in several gender film festivals in Olympia, Washington. Seattle Welcomes the WTO, an cinéma vérité project which focused on the chaos that arose in the streets of Seattle during the three day World Trade Organization gathering. As a resident of Seattle at the time of the conference, Lacomis Garcia documented the police response to the protesters on a daily basis, and in the process became a recipient of the armed police reaction of tear gas and rubber bullets. The film was screened at a Seattle film festival.
In 2006, Lacomis Garcia created a band called Striptease Battleshiip as a musical performance outlet for feminist artists and women.