"I rarely think too hard about what my work “means” as of late. But if I had to say anything at all I’d say my work is about describing my dreams. All I ever dream about is approaching and entering new landscapes. I am travelling constantly when I dream. Always coming around the corner to witness some vast mountain range, exiting a train to set foot in a new city, boarding an airplane to fly away somewhere. It’s always a different place.
The paintings in a sense are like portals, the serpents represent me to some degree. How could they not?! I have no genuine interest in snakes. They are purely symbolic, a carrier of energy and stories. And I dream of them too. Visions of a serpent inhaling its prey for sustenance, unlocking its jaws to accommodate and swallow what will give it new life. Shedding its skin and changing with the environment. Becoming something new. If I am a snake then my studio is the rock I hide under to protect me from the sun. But I must come out. I must eat. I must live.
And then there are my children. I am always thinking about them as I paint. They are in my work. In threes like spirits that guide me. They are always with me like the stars in the sky. Even when I can’t see them.
Then there is material. I want to craft a humble picture of my experience with common materials. What can I find and reassemble and paint on. Not a picture so much as a sensation. I want the painting to ask "can you feel me?", I want the looker to think "I can feel you". I don’t care much for illusions. I want hard and soft wooden grainy edges, splinters and rope hairs, vibrance when necessary but on its own terms and for itself. I want the language of my work to be in relationship with the oldest of images. All snakes, all spirals, all the flowers, suns and all the stars ever painted."
Daniel Rios Rodiguez, 2021
Born out of meditation on the artist's dreams, Daniel Rios Rodriguez's exuberant semi-figurative paintings combine images of nature and fantastical visions that reflect on the artist’s identity and personal experience. Rios Rodriguez introduces us to a rich world of imagery from his inherited and personal cultural identity and his immediate physical environment. His paintings present an unconventional treatment of the traditional subjects of European painting created with a fascinating array of non-traditional materials that come from the world around the artist yet resonate far and wide.
Daniel Rios Rodriguez lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, Solo exhibitions include Art Pace, San Antonio, Texas (2019); Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (2018); Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas(2018) and McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas (2015) and White Columns, New York (2011). Recent group exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London (2020); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, (2019); Yale University, New Haven (2007) and Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago (2007). Rios Rodriguez graduated with an M.F.A in painting from Yale University in 2007 was an artist-in-residence at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, 2018.