Interview: Erwin Rios
Luca Curci talks with Erwin Rios during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 and THE BODY LANGUAGE 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Erwin Rios was born in Chile and has been living in Austria since his youth. He studied art history in Vienna and his work was always related to art, culture and history. “I have always experimented with artistic creation and constantly developed myself further – not as a professional artist, but as an inner necessity. That’s why my art stayed in my studio and on my own walls until recently. For me, being an artist wasn’t a job; it was a matter of course, a personal matter. But in this moving year 2020, which forces us all to pause and think, I got the desire to share my statement. By chance, I was approached by a gallery in Madrid and then everything took its course. My works have been exhibited in Monaco, Zurich, Marbella, Madrid and now in Venice. I hope I can move people to deal with the topics I am communicating”.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Erwin Rios – For twenty-one years I have been supervising the school touring exhibitions with reproductions of works of art, which were funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Culture. I was also involved in the organization of gallery exhibitions and during the last two years, I was interim program manager. At the same time and to this day I work in the tourism business where I can live out my passion for history.
LC – What is your creative process like?
ER – It can happen that a certain topic occupies me due to current events and after a while, there is an urge to transport the thoughts and feelings from inside to the outside. Then I paint, look at it, criticize it, scratch it, cover it with acrylic layers…I destroy it to ultimately create something that turns out to be an expression of my deepest inner being. Sometimes I wake up with a feeling, an idea… I see a picture in my mind’s eye and then I say: that’s it! Then everything develops by itself.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
ER – I mainly work with acrylic on linen, but I also use other materials such as cement or sand to expand expressive possibilities. The texture is often as important as the color. I use a maximum of three colors that go together and try to achieve a balance. The picture should have a calming effect on the viewer and at the same time it should draw him in. Ideally, a dispute should take place.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
ER – For me, painting is a way of saying something when words are no longer enough. It is often a help to organize my thoughts and emotions. Therefore my paintings are a very personal expression of what concerns me. In addition to my everyday life, there are also issues such as racism, equality, refugees… I see every single affected person and see what is going on in people. This raises questions: what do you want to do with your life, how do you influence the lives of others, how do you deal with yourself and other people… These works belong to the series that I have called “Quo Vadis” (Where are you going). The Series “Moments” asks similar questions about our environment: How do you deal with nature, how is our quality of life influenced by it, which interrelationships arise… Both series are not just an appeal to individuals to create the best for themselves and those around them. It is also an appeal to politics. The global crisis can be seen as an opportunity. The necessary changes can take place more easily. The time has come to do the right thing, e.g. create political and economic stability in the troubled areas. People who are doing well at home do not want to leave their homeland. Can humanity be put before the interests? Urgent solutions are needed.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
ER – Art is no longer elitist but a part of life. It is no longer necessary to be represented by a gallery as it used to be. This eliminates the merciless censorship of a gallery owner who does not like your style. Nowadays everyone can present themselves, especially in various media and events. If the artist wants to be successful, there has to be an organization and administration behind, working on presence and visibility. Many good artists get stuck because they lack this aspect.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
ER – I think the concept is excellent. The borders are part of our life. They are decisive, depending on when and where the limits are set, how wide or narrow, whether tangible or more subtle they are. These thoughts always flow into my work.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
ER – The nine works presented at your festival are part of the “Quo vadis” series and were all created this year as an answer to what was happening, but they fit perfectly with the festival.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
ER – I really appreciate the work of ITSLIQUID GROUP. I am sure that your professional approach and promotion of the artists will increase their visibility and it could have a positive impact on society.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
ER – Absolutely! Everything worked perfectly. ITSLIQUID team is very professional and friendly.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
ER – I think it’s great that you are giving emerging artists such a chance on an international level and supporting them. I would like to thank ITSLIQUID for the trust in my work!