My interest in painting emerges from a personal connection with the materiality of the medium itself, its physical qualities and possibilities. Also because of the particular relationship that exists between a painting and its existence in time. The timelessness of visual representation, compared to other temporal art forms, is its most significant property. The contrast between the stillness of a painting and our very existence within time, enhance our very awareness of temporality not only as an inevitable precondition of existence, but more importantly, as an ontological premise. Clouds in that sense, represent for me, the ultimate paradigm of ephemerality and impermanence, while at the same time of beauty and sublimity.


- Jorge Rios

The artist describes these paintings as composed of two main elements: “Nature as a metaphor for the substantive real world and text as a symbol for knowledge. The paradox of describing natural phenomena – that not only precede humanity but are by definition untraceable – is a metaphor to our contradictory instinct of understanding the universe and the narrow limits of this understanding. The structure of  the text is always the same grandiose phrase This was the first This intentional repetition acts as an echo to the repetitive rhetoric and language structure common in religious narratives.”


The most important intellectual influences in my life derive directly from my  Cuban and Latin American identity. I grew up an avid consumer of Magical Realism literature, especially the work of Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel García  Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and the Cuban Alejo Carpentier, who developed the term “Lo Real Maravilloso” (The Marvelous Real) to describe the fantastical quality of Latin American history and culture: where the everyday life is intrinsically mixed with pre-Columbian indigenous mysticism, the Spanish Catholic dogma and African pantheistic  religions.


- Jorge Rios

Jorge Rios holds a BA in painting from the National Academy of Arts “San Alejandro” in Havana, Cuba. In 2021 earned his BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently enrolled in the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis.

The work of Jorge Rios transcends the flatness of ordinary visual language reaching the subtlety, ambivalence and complexity that we perceive more clearly like in other art forms such as music or poetry. Rios tries to establish through his art a link between the individual experience of reality and the totality of existence. Whether you call it God, the Truth, the Idea, the Spirit, the Da-sein, the Being, or the Nothingness… In other words, “art for me has the mission of redeeming the being out of the mundanity of the human condition, by stimulating what is divine, universal and eternal in it.”


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