Collection: Julio Del Rio Highlights


Julio Del Rio (b. 1988)

NIAD is proud to announce that in October 2023, the work of Julio Del Rio joined the permanent collection of SFMOMA.


Artist Bio

Julio Del Rio was born in El Tepehuaje, Michoacán, Mexico and immigrated to the United States when he was about 10 years old. He joined NIAD in 2007 when he was just 19 at the recommendation of his neighbor, close friend, and fellow NIAD artist Luis Estrada. Though it is difficult to conceive of, Julio asserts that he had no artistic inclination prior to joining NIAD. 

Julio’s reserved demeanor belies his playful art practice. Working mostly in ceramics and drawing, he doesn’t arrive at the NIAD studio with a plan in mind, but rather lets his momentary inspiration guide him. He works at a slow and steady pace, and with a repetition of mark-making that imbues his finished works with a beautifully layered complexity. 

When asked what he likes most about arriving at NIAD, Julio responded that he enjoys the earthy smell of the moist clay. Julio uses a modified coil method, where he builds up a structure, pinches, and smooths it. His color palette oscillates between bright and dark, and he often combines the two. 

Julio often looks at magazine and book imagery about animals and pre-Columbian sculptures to inform his creations. A signature of his in his figurative pieces is to mis-match one green and one blue eye. 

Julio’s drawings fall into two categories: small, single, and isolated faces and figures; and large, colorful abstracted lines that beam off the picture plane with an animated movement. Using colored pencil and oil pencil, these larger works contain a deeply mesmerizing quality. 

Julio says that in the future he is interested in possibly exploring fiber as a medium.


Exhibition Highlights


Into the Brightness: Artists from Creativity Explored, Creative Growth & NIAD // Oakland Museum of California // May 2023

Nueva Tierra // GGLA // October 2022

Whales and Pencil Holders, organized by Emma Spertus // NIAD Annex Exhibition // September 2022

Day Or Night It Looks Like Night, organized by Liliana Herrera // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // September 2022

Ripples, organized by Esther Mallouh // UC Law, San Francisco // March 2022

Dreamforms // Richmond Art Center // January-March 2022

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