My War, My Art is a book illustrated and written by Ovidio Garcia, a Vietnam Veteran who served two tours in country. Garcia is a self-taught artist and drew twenty-four paintings and drawings and each art piece is accompanied by an anecdotal account of the event depicts. His hope is to tell the story of his experiences during a traumatic period of his life. “These events are hard-wired into my brain and I still struggle with many unanswered questions. Why am I still alive when better men are dead?” he asks.
Many veterans of the Vietnam War never saw the enemy up close or did not see them at all. As an airborne infantryman, a paratrooper, that did two tours in that unfortunate place, one with the 101st Brigade from 1966-1967 and the other with the 173rd Airborne Brigade from 1971-1972, Garcia’s experiences were indeed different. He offers those experiences to the reader accounts of what transpired at that moment in time, as he remembers them. He drew most of the sketches after he left the Army and managed to hang on to them throughout life. One of the reasons it took him so long to write this book is because he makes no pretense of being a historical writer with dates, places, and the strategies of operations. The lack of those details never concerned him.
Thomas Palaima, Ph.D.
Robert M. Armstrong Professor of Classics
University of Texas
Ovidio’s accounts of incidents from his time in Vietnam are straightforward and honest…They convey…profound sadness, resignation, and matter-of-factness…about what had happened in Vietnam a half-century ago…[His] images are vivid, kept so by the post-traumatic stress reaction that hard-wired them in Ovidio’s psyche. My War, My Art then is also a tribute to Ovidio Garcia’s endurance, his love of the men with whom he fought, and to the veterans and non-veterans who did not look away from the truths Ovidio is putting on display.
Associate Professor of Painting
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Ovidio Garcia is genuine in his narratives, just as he is himself in person, and as such his illustrations are genuine. They are honest and thought-provoking. To classify what his wonderful drawings and paintings are in the role of contemporary art would be unjust and unnecessary. They are simply Ovidio.