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Beyond a smart phone: Joey Garcia's iPhone art finds the sublime in the land of good ol’ boys

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_Marfa day

While technology has expedited the immediacy of day-to-day communications  —  at the same time removing face-to-face personal interactions  —  it has given users the ability to transform the digitally accurate into nostalgic representations of yesteryear. 

Meet Joey Garcia. Working the oil fields of the Texas plains, he captures the simplicity of the region's cultural and rural lifestyle. Using his iPhone and digital filters from InstagramHipstamatic, Camera+, Snapseed and Qbro, his images hold a bold narrative story and coddle a romantic sentimentality for the way things used to be.

Dig the images? Get out and play. On Saturday, MOBILEYEZ: iPhoneography Art Show Artcrawl 2011 is all about iPhone art and features Garcia along with Imelda Bettinger, Rebecca Cornwell, Joelle Eid, Alex Luster, Jessica Reiswig and Shannon Reiswig. The exhibition is part of Artcrawl Houston 2011, during which 180 artists and art organizations working downtown open their studio doors to the public.

About this iPhotograph:

"There's an old commercial fueling station in Rosenberg that I've always wanted to shoot. My father used to do business with the owners as part of his oilfield job, and I remember visiting it when I was young. After visiting Marfa, Texas, I looked off to the side of the main road and found this about three blocks down. Right away I thought of that old station and had to capture it."

— Joey Garcia

Marfa Day

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_UFO Longhorn

"There's a certain lease in the field at work that has only longhorns, and it's always a treat to work it. I was excited to try a new filter and viewfinder on Hipstamatic and found this longhorn. The sun was coming up and it was grazing the field. I quietly snuck up to it and gave out a 'grunt' to get its attention. It looked up and this is what came of it."

— Joey Garcia

Taken in Thompsons, Texas.

UFO Longhorn

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_hay bales

"Rural landscapes are amazing. Just ask my Instagram feed, it'll tell you they same. I always look for old and abandoned places to shoot. While driving to work last month I stumbled upon this old house off of Spur 10 outside of Rosenberg, Texas. What's funny about it is that I'd been driving by it for months and never realized it. Old farm land is something I love."

— Joey Garcia

This Old House

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_lonely island II

"On the other side of the road from the other barn stands another barn and windmill. I actually had to find the owner to get permission to photograph his property because I had been told he wasn't fond of trespassing and I didn't want to get run off with a shotgun."

— Joey Garcia

Lonely Island II

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_sky blue sky

"This is another example of old farm land that populates the back roads of Rosenberg, Texas. The cloud cover was gorgeous that day and I was able to capture the barn from the road. It's one of my favorites."

— Joey Garcia

Sky Blue Sky

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_grungy window

"I was invited to shoot the old Imperial Sugar Mill in Sugar Land, Texas for the Amplify Sugar Land Spectrum art show. After wandering around the grounds for a bit I came across an old office. I love to use grungy filters from time to time, but the window was naturally textured. It put a smile on my face."

— Joey Garcia

Old Window

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_trains

"This is actually my favorite photo out of all my work. Driving home I noticed a train coming my direction and there was also a rain shower moving towards us. It was perfect timing. I was able to capture a little of everything in it: clouds, tracks, train, hay bales and a rain shower."

Taken in Booth, Texas.

— Joey Garcia

Trains

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_sugar mill

"This is another photo of the Imperial Sugar Mill in Sugar Land, Texas. It's complimented by a set of train tracks that run in front of the building. The insides of the buildings are currently being gutted out."

— Joey Garcia

Here Again

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_old town

"Driving home from work I decided to take a photo of the old general store in Thompsons, Texas. As I approached the tracks, I noticed a train coming my way. It was an added bonus, being as though I'd already planned to shoot the store. Luckily, my iPhone was able to pick up on it being that far away."

— Joey Garcia

Old Town Thompsons

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_stormy day

"I began using iPhoneography as a way to capture images that folks wouldn't see everyday. This is a great example. It's not too often that you see an abandoned Scout parked in front of an oil field tank battery. When I see this thing sitting there everyday, I feel like I just want to restore it."

Taken in Thompsons, Texas.

— Joey Garcia

Stormy Day

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_oilfield sunrise

"Hipstamatic. I love this photo app. I also enjoy using it to capture the simplicity of what I see. This photo was all about being in the right place at the right time. I first noticed the cloud cover that morning and figured I'd wait for the right time to shoot something. As I turned down a road at work I noticed a workover rig had just settled on one of the wells I was tending to just as the sun was rising. It turned out great."

— Joey Garcia

Oilfield Surprise

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_fallen soldier

"This is something I've only heard stories about: two bucks battling it out during the rutting season and getting hung up. I received a report that it happened in the field at which I work. I was able to safely capture a photo using Hipstamatic. We were able to rescue the surviving buck and release him back to the wild; the other suffered a broken neck and did not make it."

Taken in Thompsons, Texas.

— Joey Garcia

Fallen Soldier

Photo by Joey Garcia
News_iPhone photography_Joey Garcia_ACL

"Austin City Limits Music Festival had an Instagram photo contest. You were supposed to capture the essence of the festival in order to enter. I decided that entering the circle pit for Death From Above 1979 was a great way to do just that."

— Joey Garcia

Circle Pit