Interview with Ernesto Ríos
Centrepoint Collective: Your recent photographic compositions maintain a very consistent visual code. What can you tell us about the concept behind the images?
Ernesto Ríos: This series of open and flexible theme is in continuous expansion and metamorphosis. These images are captured during long hours of work by different geographies of Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I try to merge, with the help of digital graphics, linear non-chronological sequences of urban scenes on panoramic triptychs and polyptics. These initially independent images are intertwined in many different spaces and times that offer the viewer new meanings, rhythms and cityscape readings I find in my travels of introspection and work.
I’m addicted to the road, jumping from one city to another. It cannot be more than a month for me to leave a city. When not travelling I feel like I’m missing something very important. The creative itch becomes unbearable and I start a trip but do not know one hundred percent the final destination. When I go out with my camera get to unknown places and cultures is when I feel more alive. In those trip is where I invariably find things that make me wiser, become part of my travel log and my visual vocabulary. These images unconsciously jump into my eye and usually I try to catch them through my camera. I see these photos as a travelogue.
CC: What relationship has your paintings with your photographic work and vice versa?
ER: It’s like a very complex love affaire. Sometimes they are very close and some others they don’t even want to talk to each other. At times I see them as two totally opposite bodies of work, but generally I feel they are two entities that are interrelated and inseparable. Both enrich and complement each other.
CC: Could you describe the evolution that your work has experimented over time in terms of both aesthetics and concept?
ER: At the age of 12 I took the irrevocable decision to dedicate my life to the visual arts. In these years of hard work my creations have changed a lot. It would be a bit hard to explain this process and summarize it in this conversation, but I can say that my issues are not as diversified as they used to be. In recent years I have focused much more. For about six years I have begun to enter the mythological and philosophical idea of the labyrinth. I love that the labyrinth is a universal theme with endless readings and interpretations. I am very interested in the symbolic, metaphorical, psychological, architectural and even the religious and spiritual archetype that has over 4 000 years of history.
I am currently studying a PhD at RMIT University in Australia on a scholarship I received for artists from abroad. The doctorate requires to further defining my statement and my visual content. Therefore my intention is to further deepen and explore this theme with great rigor and creative study. I have explored this subject in photography as well as in painting, video and interactive art and it hasn’t stopped giving me new ideas and daily variations.
CC: Your work is encoded sometimes in complex geometric shapes, sometimes kaleidoscopic ones. What is the origin of this visual discourse?
ER: Maybe my taste for geometry of tangled or labyrinthic forms is part of that origin, but it mainly arises from an observation of nature and its quirky designs what we see in fractals and other forms. Seeing a spider net in a bar in Melbourne, the leaves of a fern in the rainforest of Tasmania or the dunes of the desert of northern Mexico are images that come to mind and that a t some point have motivated me to work.
Todas las imágenes © Ernesto Ríos
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