“Under The Microscope,” an art exhibit by influential-California artist Jaime Zacarias a.k.a GERMS, is being showcased at The Fullerton Museum center. This exhibit incorporates Zacarias’s Chicano flair and heritage as well as a 21st century take on surrealist imagery.
GERMS’ artwork is lively with vibrant colors that easily catch the eye; every piece of art in this exhibit includes a tentacle figure, each symbolizing his Chicano roots as well as representing his movement of Pop Surrealism and his Catholic upbringing.
His artwork contains hidden symbols that each pertain to Zacarias personally as well as tell a story. Many of these images portrayed characters that were familiar and relatable to people of all backgrounds, not only people of Zacarias’ heritage.
GERMS’ drew upon traditions of Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali, both 21st century surrealists that reflect on the distinct southern California that is around them.
This exhibit even includes some of Zacarias’s childhood drawings as well as borrowed works in prominent collections, to never-before-seen works created just for “Under the Microscope.”
Curated by the Fullerton Museum center, the collection is made up of selections from many private and public collectors. It’s being showcased to appreciate and share Zacarias creative and unique style of art; also to bring out viewers’ imaginations.
Nati Castellon, a woman viewing the artwork, commented that the art seemed unique but also very mysterious. “I personally feel that some of his artwork has a dark message to them; you wouldn’t think so with all the lively colors, however I feel like there are plenty of hidden messages in these paintings that are disguised by how vibrant they are.”
Jesse Bojorquez, a young man viewing the art explained how he found the artwork humorous in “a good way.” He felt the artwork to be very relatable especially since he too is Chicano; “His artwork makes me happy and interests me because I understand the messages he is speaking through his paintings.”
Zacarias was born and raised in South Los Angeles and viewed his environment as inspiration for his artwork. He grew up around gangs, drugs and graffiti but his father would keep Zacarias out of trouble and made sure he did not get involved in any mischief. Zacarias received a scholarship to Art Center after high school which really helped him out and furthered his love for art.
He incorporates symbols like the LA Dodgers logo in his artwork to represent his interest and upbringing. Although he takes his artwork seriously, he makes sure to also have fun while painting; he makes art because he actually enjoys it not because it’s a job for him.
Due to his success, his artwork has become pretty pricey so Zacarias also sells some of his art on Instagram to make it affordable to people who have been following his work over the years.
For anyone interested in viewing GERMS’ art work, “Under the Microscope” will be available to the public through October 22nd at the Fullerton Museum Center.