Koplin Del Rio
May 15, 2020 12:50PM


Where and how are you spending this time?

I'm at home in Harlem with my wife Autumn. We spend most of our days drifting through our apartment cooking, cleaning, making art and just hanging out together. Occasionally we sit outside on our stoop and watch people walking by. These people are not wearing masks. We scream inside. A woman coughs, a man hacks, a child with a runny nose waves at us. I pull out my phone and add bleach to our grocery delivery list. Autumn deletes its. We grow weary and head back upstairs and look up bread making recipes.

Above: Autumn doing an online performance lecture

What are you working on?

I'm in a smaller workspace at home so I've mostly been working on a couple of Zine and comic projects. I've been wanting to work on these for a while so although this whole quarantine is a struggle, I appreciate this time to finally dig into making comics. I do miss working on the larger drawings but I am enjoying working with this different scale. Because It's easy for me....really it is. Because I am a good artist, no, a great artist who can fluidly shift from large 7ft portrait drawings to tiny tiny tiny detailed little drawings with shifting perspectives and panels and storytelling and color and text with legible type and printing alignments and its all so fucking fun!!! I mean, it's comics right?? I love comics! So it just comes completely natural to me. Like, its no big deal that my printer won't connect to my wifi. I have a Master's Degree in painting so I can figure this out right?! AUTUMN!!!!! CAN YOU CHECK THE ROUTER IN THE BEDROOM PLEASE!!!! I THINK IT CAME UNPLUGGED AGAIN!!!!!!

Above: Pilgrimage Comic drawings

Are there any specific narratives or planes of thought emerging in your drawings which are tied to this specific moment?

Like a lot of folks, I've been considering my own place and usefulness. Specifically, I've been thinking about what my role is as an artist in this moment, and honestly I've been coming up empty.

The vitality of art rests in its ability to help us flesh out meaning and purpose in our lives, particularly in a fraught moment like this. Unfortunately, I think many of us (Artists) have forfeited that vitality by allowing our work to become disconnected from the larger social fabric. I suppose I'm lamenting the rarefied and outsized place of the art market and our obligement to it by producing basically a luxury good. I don't wish any sort of additional hardship on anyone but I do wonder if the art world retracts anymore and is unable to recover will it have the effect of creating leaner, more conceptually direct and community-minded artists. How this relates to my own work and practice I am as yet unsure. I guess making comics is my attempt at working within a more accessible art form.

It was recently revealed to us that your very talented wife, artist Autumn Knight, makes visual art in addition to her more widely known performance art. Care to share a few of Autumn's drawings?

Yes! Her drawings are amazing! Check them out:

Above Left to Right: Autumn Knight, Black Body Drawings I & 3

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what have you been listening to? Do you have a playlist that you can share, or several records in regular circulation for you?

I've mostly been listening to music to chill out with. I made a short playlist of a few things I've been enjoying that you can listen to here or on Spotify here.

Above: Two works-in-progress

What are you reading and / or watching?

I am pretending to read Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy Rebellion and Desireby David Graeber so that Autumn thinks she married an intellectual, but I'm actually reading Marvel's Essential X-men volumes 7&8.

I am watching the notion of time dissolve.

What are you looking forward to?

The Milky Way colliding with the Andromeda.

Above: The view from my window

Above: Robert Pruitt, "Rear Portrait Study (Face Jug)", 2020, Carbon Pencil & Conté on Stonehenge paper, 30" x 22"

Koplin Del Rio