The artwork of Newark artist Diego Marcial Rios will return early next month for an limited featuring his artwork featuring masks and large paintings that reflects the artist’s Native American (Mayan-Aztec and European heritage.
And while the exhibit will be held during Cinco de Mayo, the displayed pieces will feature artwork inspired by Dia de los Muertos.
The exhibit will be held on May 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NPM Cultural Corner, located on the lower level of near Sears.
Q. What inspired you to make these pieces, which center around Dia de los Muertos?
A. The " Dia de Los Muertos" is a hugely celebrated and important day in Mexican and Chicano culture. The day is dedicated to thos family and friends that have died. The painting being displayed called " Face of Life and Fire" concerns the cycle of life, death and re-birth. The masks often use symbols and imagery from both ancient and modern sources.
Q. What does Dia los Muertos mean to you as an artist?
A. Dia de Los Muertos reminds me of the fragile and inescapable cycle of life, death and re-birth in another dimension of human consciousness.
Q. What do these pieces symbolize?
A. The paintings used both ancient Mayan, Aztec and even Olmec symbols to represent the life and death cycle of the human race. Calavera images often represent death in my artwork. Often, I used Roman Catholic influenced crosses to represent re-birth.
Q. How would you describe your artwork? How would you describe yourself as an artist?
A. All of my artwork concerns the human condition in some respect. Many of the masks, paintings and prints represent the human struggle against evil and oppression. I would describe my art as being "contemporary surrealism". Most of my direction of producing fine art is directly in line with the great European and Mexican masters such as Goya, Diego Rivera, Orozco, Durer etc.
Q. You will be producing paintings during the exhibit. Tell us about this and what made you decide to do this?
A. This will be 100% free. The general public is free to watch me produce 2 larger paintings. I try to produce art at my art openings because it makes the exhibit more interesting for the general public and myself
To learn more about Rios, .