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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Chicano artist points out censorship by San Mateo County authorities

Painting: Diego Marcial Ríos

Prominent Chicano artist points out censorship, Diego Marcial Rios, who is originally from Fresno and has Mexican parents, pointed out censorship by San Mateo County authorities, after his work was removed from an exhibition, due, he said, to the fact that two paintings of his paintings annoyed the local Police Department .

Interviewed on the radio program "Hecho en California", hosted by Marcos Gutiérrez, Marcial Ríos recounted that he was invited by the county itself to present some of his works in an exhibition that would take place in July and August of this year.

«I made arrangements to take the works and hang them, it was July 17. So I came in with my helper and hung up the artwork and then for some reason about a day or two later I got an email from the organizers, or the lady who actually runs the art gallery at the town hall, and he said that there was some kind of problem, that people had some kind of problem with one or two of the works, what if he could change them, "he explained.

Image: diegomarcialrios.com

The artist, who has had more than 500 exhibitions in various parts of the country and the world, said that he was told that there was some type of controversy regarding the San Mateo Police Department and a couple of his works of art and that , as a result the entire art exhibit was removed.

“Basically my artwork along with the entire exhibition is censored because a couple of cops objected to the content of mine. So something is not right, "said Marcial Ríos.

The two pieces that caused the commotion with the authorities are barely 10 x 10 inches and belong to his work of political paintings, one of them with the legend "Police, Stop Killing Us? Police, stop killing us?", in which You can see the figure of a person in red with his hands raised with a heart and a cross, hurt by a spear, as well as holes that simulate shots from where blood drains.

Painting: Diego Marcial Ríos

The second painting has the figure of a skeleton dressed in police clothes, with a tear gas canister in one hand, while in the other he carries a stick with blood on one end. At the feet of the figure is the legend: «We kill Blacks and Mexicans Cheap! Have a fun day We kill blacks and Mexicans, cheap! Have a fun day?»

«These? paintings? they are very critical of police brutality, but then again, that is our reality. As a people, is that our reality? in this America, the police department, unfortunately, sees fit to brutalize nonchalantly all the time. There are murders of blacks all the time and it doesn't stop. That is why I produce these works». 

Regarding the reaction of the police, Marcial Ríos stressed that it is "really strange." Well, his two little paintings caused quite a stir, "that's crazy." He added that, due to what happened, "there is tremendous insecurity there? Police Department? and something hidden. That's what it tells me."

“This is an injustice, it is cultural oppression. And to be honest, it has a bit of a flavor of racism to it. So all these things, it tells me that this has to be brought to public opinion."

«When they stop killing our youth and Afro-descendants, it will be when I am going to stop making this kind of art. It is my right to do it and I am doing it because that is the reality of society.


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Peninsula 360 Press
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Study of cross-cultural digital communication


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