Artist Diego Marcial Rios An Artist On A Quest For Social Justice

Artist Diego Marcial Rios

Diego Marcial Rios lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and paints in acrylics. He graduated with honors with an M.A./M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Fine Arts Graduate School and a B.F.A. from University of California at Berkeley. Diego has a C.L.P. from the University of San Francisco. He received a number of fellowships for his Academic study. His artwork illustrates many complex social-economic issues faced by contemporary society.

Diego Marcial Rios’ fine art has been included in more than 500 exhibitions from Japan to Bulgaria. He is in a number of Museum Collections: The Auchenbach Foundation Collection at the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon; Laguna Beach Museum, Laguna Beach, CA.; Museo National De La Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico, etc..

He has also illustrated a number of books and his work is part of a number of Public Collections: Harriet Taubman Gallery, MD; Mission Cultural Center, SF; Irish Arts Council, Belfast, Ireland and many more. He has appeared as a speaker on Art and been interviewed on Television and Radio. His artwork has been included in many magazines. Diego has been a recent guest speaker at UC Merced, St. Marys College, San Jose State University, De Anza College.

Political art has had a long tradition in Chicano and Mexican culture. Chicano and Mexican art often express political resistance and social criticism. Most of my current art has political content. These paintings are a reflection of our times.

It is important that artists of our time document the outrage of marginalized populations of the United States. This artwork also expresses the opinions of those without voice.

We must all contribute to social justice!

Diego Marcial Rios

Dreamweaverarts Magazine had the wonderful privilege of interviewing Mr. Diego Marcial Rios who is an world renowned prolific artist. An artist of proud Mexican American Heritage over the years he has worn many hats for social issues such as working for social service agencies in the bay area for over 20 years. Mr. Deiego Marcial Rios is also a social activist who worked as a job developer and case manager for the Catholic charities for 18 years doing which time he assisted hundreds of homeless people in gaining jobs and more education. Today he continues his work at the homeless shelter as a case manager. He is an artist who is on a quest for social justice. He been creating, publishing and showing political art for over 30 years. Mr. Deiego Marcial Rios has illustrated many books and periodicals. He has also been interviewed many times by radio and TV. There have been several brief documentaries that have focused on Mr. Deiego Marcial Rios life and art work you can see them here.

DAM: What does your art form mean to you?

DMR: My art is communication. My art concerns preservation of my Mexican culture. At many times I create political art to agitate the public.

DAM: As an artist what is your story?

DMR: I have always known that I was going to be an artist. I started professional art school while I was a boy. I started illustrating magazines at age 11. During the past 30 years, I have completed 3 college degrees in fine art and education. Many of my artworks are in permanent museum collections in the USA and abroad. Most of my art is “political art”.

DAM: We have often heard how the early years are the most important in the development of an artist, what was the early years as an emerging artist like and what was your “Aha Moment” that made you realize you had made the right decision?

DMR: At age 4, my father brought me to see the murals of Clemente Orozco in Mexico. I saw this one mural called “ El Hombre De Fuego”. The instant I saw this mural, I knew that I was to become a political artist and social activist.

DAM: Why did you pick this particular art form?

DMR: This art form suits my needs as an expressive artist. I paint, draw, create prints and art in Paper Mache.

DAM: What is the artistic meaning and statement of your work and what do you want your work to stand for?

DMR: Much of my art expresses the deep anger of the lower social classes of the United States. Much of my art expresses social criticism and moral decay.

DAM: How has your art affected your life?

DMR: My art is my life. My artwork paid for all my college education. My art has given me great direction and purpose in life.

DAM: Did you have mentors to help you along your way and if so who were your mentors?

DMR: I had some good art professors.

DAM: What does art mean to you and what is your definition of what makes an artist?

DMR: Art is communication. Great or successful artist communicate ideas and emotions.

DAM How do you see the role of the arts in today’s world and what do you think is needed to keep the arts thriving?

DMR: Fine artist paly only a very small role in society in 2021. Society currently is impacted by the Mass Media- Movies, Commercial records, TV. Fine artist in 2021 need more funding.

DAM: How do you continue to stay motivated when it is becoming increasingly hard to find support and funding for projects?

DMR: I have no problem staying motivated. I am always creating, learning and teaching.

DAM: With the difficulties artist have getting their work shown what are the steps you have taken to bring your work to life?

DMR: I have never had any problem getting my art shown or published. My art is alive!

DAM: As an artist what is it that you would like to achieve with your art?

DMR: I would like the art to express and document my critical view of society.

DAM: What would you like people to take away from your artwork?

DMR: In most of my art I would like people to gain a critical view of society.

DAM: Is this something you would still do even if you never got paid?

DMR: I would create art regardless of the pay. However, the money I receive from my art is very useful.

DAM: Where do you see yourself in five, ten, twenty years?

DMR: I will always be a creative talent in 5, 10 or even 100 years.

DAM: What is it that you live for?

DMR: Social Justice!

DAM: What is your inspiration?

DMR: Modern society.

DAM: What is your dream?

DMR: To live in world free from political and social oppression.

DAM: What moves you creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

DMR: I am moved by injustices that I see and read about.

DAM: What is your most deeply felt fear

DMR: That the Republican Party will take power from USA.

DAM: Who is the person you look up to and why?

DMR: I admire and look up to so many people. Too many to list.

DAM: Who is the person you look forward to and why?

DMR: Emiliano Zapata. He fought for his principals. He fought for social justice.

DAM: What is the goal or purpose you are chasing?

DMR: I just want to remain strong and creative.

DAM: In your free time what do you like to do?

DMR: I am very athletic. I lift weights.

DAM: What are your thoughts on the environment?

DMR: Our world is dying. WE must conserve and stop using fossil fuels.

DAM: What is your favorite destination to travel to?

DMR: The San Francisco Bay Area.

DAM: What is the destination you would like to travel to in the future?

DMR: I like it here.

DAM: What is your favorite memory ?

DMR: I liked being with my grandfather.

DAM: What is your least favorite memory?

DMR: At an early age realizing that the USA was very racist and politically oppressive toward Mexicans and Chicanos!

DAM: If you are having a dinner party and you could only invite six guests, who would they be and why?

DMR: I would invite Donald Trump and his horrible family. After all these creeps showed up, I would serve them with lawsuits. Hahahah!

DAM: Is there a link so people can find out more about the you, your work and how they can support it?

DMR: My website:

DAM: What advice would you give to up and coming artists?


DAM: What does art is life and life is art mean to you?

DMR: It means that art is an important component of being alive.

DAM: Thank you for you time.

DMR: Your wecome. VIVA ARTE!!! [TAOM]

For more in for information about artist Diego Marcial Rios go here:

Diego Marcial Rios

To see artist Diego Marcial Rios artwork go here