Biography, Artist Comments & Articles
By the artist,
Jose F Rios
The year was 1954, the place was Puerto Rico. Where I Jose Rios drew my first breath of air and felt the graceful sun reflecting off of my dark skin.
The youngest of a family of six: Mother, Father, two brothers and one sister. We moved to New York City in 1956 to an old tenement building. It was there I had my first encounter with art. Lying back in my bed with my head dangling off the edge of it. I ignored everything around me starring at the ceiling. I used my eyes as brushes and the cracks and shadows as paints for my canvas. Soon after I started school where my artistic talent was quickly acknowledged and awarded.
When I graduated from High school I received three awards (see Resume); one was the citywide art award, the other two were the highest art and photography award, given by the school. Even though I was encouraged by teachers to pursue an art career I decided against it. Because I had been on my own since the age 16 (with help from my older brother) I felt it was more important to make a living. I realized later on, it was a mistake. Being that I started using (drugs) at a very young age.
I found myself in a negative environment, surrounded by users. This problem quickly progressed worse and worse, more so, after the death of my father. Unable to function in society, I soon became homeless for, a long, ten years.
Today, in the solitude of my studio I feel the sensation of wanting to dance with every stroke of the brush. I have been clean now since 1996, in all this chaos I was blessed with a beautiful daughter, Jephthahlyn Rios Rodriguez, who's a college graduate and the mother of my grandchildren. It is she, who organized my first solo showing. My three and a half years of artwork is where I speak of the past, the present and always looking into the future.
Periodicals written on Jose F. Rios:
- Gallery&Studios 2002 - Painting as Autobiography & Salvation
- West Side Art Coalition - Child Prodigy
- New York Press - Painting in a Box
- By Jephthahlyn Rios-Rodriguez - Jewels of the Lost Artist
- Gallery&Studios 2001 - Jose F. Rios' Barrio Dreams
- Noticias Del Mundo - The New World of Jose Rios
- The Phoenix House News - Recovering a Passion for Art
- A book by Heather D. Mendoza - Somos Vecinos
- Phoenix House Press Release - Fight drugs with art
- By Ian Davidson ? 2006 - Flaco,
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