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Our Own Human Nature
Ana de los Rios

Opening - Mujeres en el Arte, August 13

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by Ana de los Rios

From a very young age I was captivated by art; in particular music and the plastic arts: painting, drawing, sculpture and engraving. In high school I worked in a sculpture workshop with clay, plaster and cement. Later, I enrolled in a technical art school. Then I completed my art studies at university. For me painting is a trade; but, in addition, it can provide the opportunity to coin one's own language, an individual synthesis to express something that can resonate with others.

We live in a complex time. Globalization, the internet and digitization have great advantages, but it also makes it easier for us to be overwhelmed by a large amount of information (and misinformation). On many levels of our reality, imbalance and confusion proliferate. As a counterflow to the maelstrom of these stimuli, it seems to me that painting, with its sobriety and grandeur, is not only important, but necessary. It offers a moment of pause, of observation, of a certain intimacy. It is, therefore, a resource to reinvigorate our contemplative capacity. This can contribute to the implementation of a change towards a more constructive way of being in the world, where we come closer to our own human nature and enter into a healthier relationship with planetary nature.

Encouraged by the conviction to remain true to myself and to find my own path, I have been building a long and consistent career in a somewhat satellite manner with respect to the rest of my generation and outside the mainstream. The changes in my painting have been concatenated with each other from the beginning to date. As you can see by visiting my website, www.anadelosrios.com, my work has been eclectic in form and content mixing styles and themes. The constants have been a diligent workmanship, a careful choice of palette and the exploration of different compositional resources.

In my beginnings, the human figure was the protagonist; first, in dynamic action, inspired by the reality that surrounded me living in the south of the state of Oaxaca; and later, in acts or attitudes with a more collected energy and where the atmosphere acquired more relevance. This stage was inspired by reality, and learning in the museums and galleries of Paris, France where I also lived.

Over the years, re-established in Mexico City, where I live and work, the theme of space and depth with landscape and architectural references gained importance, taking away the predominance of the figure until it disappeared. However, dispensing with the figure did not mean its total absence since those thresholds, doors and openings turned out to be spaces that were perceived as inhabited and made reference to human existence.

I would like to do my bit so that when seeing these paintings, the viewer feels alive.

Advancing in the study of painting, and the maturity offered by the work, have been leading me to a formal and thematic refinement in my production. Now, the architectural, landscape or geometric elements are interwoven in a "simultaneity" that recalls the way we remember, the multiplicity of memory or dreams. My images are an amalgam of spaces, times, realities. Sometimes, the figure also appears, but now with a rather symbolic weight.

I have never been indifferent to social reality. I am interested in history. I am concerned about the crossroads at which the entire world finds itself. I want to approach the human, but without portraying it. I try to do it in a subtle and even subliminal way, sifted, translated into that fascinating language that is painting. Reflection, depth and transparency are plastic resources that I develop in my pictorial proposal with the aim of capturing the viewer's gaze and interest. Halfway between figuration and abstraction, my painting combines identifiable elements with elements whose referent is uncertain, with the intention of allowing an opening in terms of interpretation and, at the same time, facilitating delight through color and compositional structure.

Far from being simply complacent, I am interested in creating harmonic and mysterious images in which a certain tension is discovered; that through observation something is revealed that moves or upsets whoever contemplates them. I try to make the viewer feel identified, reflected, connected with the painting, with the artist, with himself. I want the viewer, in the best of cases, to feel alive.

www.anadelosrios.com

I would like this marriage of plans and realities, in some way similar to memory or dreams, to refer us to our fascinating, mysterious and fun existence.

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Ana de los Rios

(Mexico City, 1957).

Ana de los Rios obtained a bachelor's degree (ENAP) and a master's degree (FAD) in Visual Arts from UNAM. Her work is part of the collection of Andrés Blaistén, Banco Santander, Lumen and private collections.

She was selected in the VII Rufino Tamayo Biennial and deserving of financial support through the Program for the Promotion of Cultural Projects and Co-investments, FONCA (1994). She was selected in Artelumen 3rd edition (2018), and in the Luxembourg Art Prize (2021). She has thirty-six years as a professional painter, twelve individual exhibitions and forty collective exhibitions in Mexico and France. She has also dedicated herself to teaching. Sylvia Navarrete, Eduardo Milan, Estrella Olvera, Gonzalo Vélez, among others, have written about her work.

Currently, her paintings present a multiplicity of spaces, a simultaneity of scenes that can refer to the mental processes of memory and imagination, but also symbolically represent the complexity of reality or, rather, of the different realities that we live in today. A careful execution, a careful choice of palette, a conscientious compositional work and, to a lesser degree, the stain, the gestural element and the controlled accident are part of the plastic resources of this painter, who remains attentive to her own convictions to conform a personal synthesis that attempts to captivate, delight, and perhaps even subtly transmute the viewer.

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Saturday, August 13, 5-7pm
Gallery Calderoni, Fabrica la Aurora

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