Marco Rios “S” is for Sincere, Formerly Formerly “F” is Fir Fake”

Simon Preston Gallery

poster for Marco Rios “S” is for Sincere, Formerly Formerly “F” is Fir Fake”

This event has ended.

At least once a week I’m asked: What do you do? This is after it’s been established that I’m an artist. I always quickly answer: I do everything but painting. I answer preemptively because if I allow a moment and don’t beat them to the punch, they typically follow the question with: Are you a painter? Do you paint?

My mom asked me why couldn’t I make artwork that was more pretty. She complained, why does it always have to be depressing? Recently, I shared with her a positive review I received in the newspaper. For the work described in the review, I used red silk as one of the materials. The art critic described it as “blood-red silk”. From that, my mom’s only response to the article was, I don’t understand why you’re always so obsessed with blood!

In 2005, I found a box of drawings my mom kept from when I was 3-5 years old. The drawings looked like the kind of abstract paintings I wish I could make but couldn’t, not with my academic background. I was fascinated with what my motivation could have been at that age, other than just doing it. It wasn’t for a studio visit or a show. It was uncorrupted self-expression, which would be impossible now. Around the time I found the box of drawings, I’d also seen F is for Fake (1973) by Orson Welles, a film about art forgery. It was hugely influential. I got the idea to convert one of my drawings into a painting, and pass it off as an original, which looked similar to a trend in painting at the time. The work was a one-off and took its title from Welles’ film. The painting was cynical and pranksterish. I didn’t feel good about it afterwards.

I started teaching this past year. For a majority of my students, my class was their very first art class and for the others with previous art experience, they were still raw. I reminisced about being a young student and became jealous. I was jealous of existing at that same age and being introduced to a life-altering artist, book, film, or musician for the first time. Yes, I still get wowed, but it’s never with the same intensity and impact. Around the same time I started teaching, I discovered two large binders encapsulating my entire undergraduate experience while purging my bedroom. Enclosed was every syllabus, every homework assigned, every reading, every handwritten note. First, I was startled at how organized I was. Then, I became nostalgic for when the art world seemed less gross. If there was ever a period I could relive, it would be then. So I decided to go back and redo some of these assignments, a sort of return to basic training, while simultaneously attempting to resuscitate those same emotions. But then I thought: why not go farther back? Why not start from the beginning and revisit the childhood drawings again?

The earlier work, F is for Fake, I saw as forgeries. With this new work, I see them as collaborations.

If I was still asked what do you do?, I’d still say, I do everything but painting.



from October 12, 2014 to November 09, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-10-12 from 18:00 to 20:00


Marco Rios

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