Sushi Doraku, Miami Beach. Custom built 1800 square foot Octopus by Rick Garcia and Bruce Hanners.

Sushi Doraku, Miami Beach. Custom built 1800 square foot Octopus by Rick Garcia and Bruce Hanners.

About rick garcia

From a young age, Rick was encouraged to follow his dream of pursuing and developing his talent in art. In later years he found a deep-rooted connection to surrealism, especially the work of Salvador Dali. Garcia had become obsessed with the unique images and amazing technique of the spanish painter and he eventually traveled to Port Lligat, Spain to visit the home and surroundings of his mentor.

After years of attending the Art Institute of Miami, where he refined his artistic vision in drawing and painting, he was soon earning an income from published illustrations. Garcia has enjoyed a rich and diverse career starting with the hit TV show "Miami Vice" commissioning him to create a mural on the side of a three story building, and used his paintings for interior shots. Apart from a growing number of private commissions, his distinctive images were commissioned by The United Nations Postal Administration in 1998 and 2003. His stamps brought awareness to the growing extinction of the rainforest and its inhabitants, and followed with the 50th Anniversary of the World Health Organization, bringing awareness to the vanishing supply of freshwater, where it earned him the prestige of the most beautiful stamp series of 2003. Garcia was chosen as an "Absolut Artist of the 90s" in the popular vodka ad campaign and with his second piece Absolut Electric, this further drew worldwide attention. 1998, 1999, and 2001 garnered him the distinction of official artist to The Grammy Awards where his creations influenced the look of the live broadcast and graced the covers of the official program book, CDs, posters, apparel, and other various items. His work included portraits of stars such as Destiny's Child, Ricky Martin, Coldplay, Santana, Celia Cruz, Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap and Kanye West. His life long passion of thoroughbred racing tapped him in 2008 to be the official artist of the 2008 Kentucky Derby Festival.

Founder of Benihana, Rocky Aoki, gave Rick complete creative control to design a sushi restaurant on Miami Beach. Along with sculptor Bruce Hanners, they built and installed an 1800 sq. ft octopus designed by Rick to be the massive ceiling light fixture. Made of fiberglass with internal computerized lighting, it hung over this cutting edge design featuring the Japanese style of delivering fast food, "Kaiten". Other design elements included artworks and custom light fixtures throughout the restaurant including the restrooms. Rick's association with the famous Gibson Custom Shop brand spawned a collection of highly collectable one of kind painted guitars. His most recent work on guitars was painting a 1954 Gibson Les Paul reissue for The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and a 50th Anniversary issue of the Gibson SG for CANCER RESEARCH U.K. Currently Rick is only taking private commissions for any further custom painted guitars.



1998 United Nations Postal Administration issue of “Endangered Rainforest” issue. Three separate stamps to highlight and bring attention to the vanishing fauna and flora of the rainforest. Acrylic on canvas. Featured on the stamps is the Orangutan, Ocelot and Jaguar.



Becoming a three-time official artist of the Grammy awards was very special honor. The opportunity to attend rehearsals, meet the stars and get a great behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on this show was fantastic.

On each occasion I enjoyed the collaboration with then V.P. Rob Senn in brainstorming as to what each event should look like in print form which also led to influencing the look of the broadcast. Here are the three posters which also became the program book covers, CD covers, tickets and a of other printed matter. My first poster for the 40th GRAMMY Awards for 1998 has the word GRAMMY embossed and features the award making a splash in a pool. The number 40 is blended into the artwork, with musical instruments, notes, architecture and clouds fill the scene. The 1999 Grammys was designed to feature the history of recording from its earliest time to the digital era. The music sheet depicted is the opening to “Layla” and the time signature stamp is 4/1 for the 41st GRAMMY’s. The 2001 Grammys depicted a more abstract-angular kind of approach and the original artwork has real gold leaf on the canvas for the award.



Absolut Vodka has been the most powerful, innovative and longest lasting ad campaign in the history of advertising. Around 1985 Andy Warhol created a screen print of the famous bottle and that lit the fuse of a major advertising campaign explosion. Five years later I was contacted to paint my version of the bottle which became “Absolut Garcia”. I suddenly saw this image in so many places. A year later on my own intuition, I had a working guitar built in the shape of the bottle. After I painted, it I sent a photo to the head of Carillon Importers, Michel Roux and he immediately bought it. This one instantly became “Absolut Electric”.