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JO-HS Gallery presents “Realities in Dialogue” a solo exhibition by Costa Rican painter Melissa Ríos

JO-HS Gallery presents “Realities in Dialogue”, a solo exhibition by Costa-Rican painter Melissa Ríos with support by Tequila Komos during Frieze New York Art Week.

JO-HS, the gallery, design space and artist studio residency in Mexico City, announced its second foray in the US (after a pop-up exhibition at Mr. C Hotel Miami by Cipriani during Art Basel 2022) with a new space in the heart of Tribeca, timed to Frieze New York, with support by Tequila Komos.

JO-HS works primarily with emerging contemporary artists supporting them with the production, exhibition and distribution of their art. For the inaugural exhibition, JO-HS presents Realities in Dialogue, a solo exhibition of work by Costa-Rican painter Melissa Ríos. The exhibition will include 18 surreal, sensual, and highly techniqued oil paintings that display a mix of body and form.

A private dinner and tequila tasting, organized by Tequila Komos, immediately followed the opening reception in mid-May in the Jazz Room of Casa Cipriani. Tequila Komos is proud to support emerging contemporary artist Melissa Rios’ first solo exhibition and the upcoming opening of the NYC location of JO-HS, a Mexico City gallery and residency program. By partnering with Elisabeth Johs and Melissa Rios, Komos leans into this distinctive exhibition and global event to bring everyone together, sharing a common passion for art and design.

Notables guests at the opening event included: Joe Marchese (Co-founder, Tequila Komos), Svetlana Marich (Worldwide Deputy Chairman, Phillips Auction House), Jordan Huelskamp (Founder, Salon Art fund), Daria Pahota (Managing Director, Bjarke Ingels), Joshua Pullman (Co-Founder, Silver Art Projects) Maria Vogel (Art Advisor), and Taylor Fisch (Writer/Curator).

Melissa Ríos paints her dreams. Streams of consciousness collaged on canvas and sourced from unconscious states of an impossible dream that seeks the night. There she encounters salons filled with pastel lime wash walls and black-and-white tiled floors that beg us to dance our way to the light. She stumbles upon tangerine curtains and swatches of blue tie-dye fur arranged in the chaos of a studio and walks along green marshes whose wetlands mirror hazy skies on the coast of murmurs. Melissa Ríos appropriates fragments of a life once consumed by architecture and design and now compelled to paint intuitively charged compositions of those realities in dialogue. Melissa Ríos is the lithe, female torso, always obscured, lying on her stomach, leaning upright, and graciously slouching, always in flux. Perhaps she is not the disembodied figure wearing the yellow trousers, the billowy blouse, or the cocktail dress with a plunging neckline. The woman was spotted in a Vogue catalog from the 1950s and she is also one of the women of Alex Katz’s New York. Melissa Ríos both is and is not the figure wearing the patent black leather loafers, the ascot, and mohair, red hat, and the woman wrapped in an almost sheer, silk sheet that clings to the sun-kissed skin of a bare back. Whoever she or Melissa Ríos is, she exudes femininity through silhouettes of cocoons, shells, and petals that contain and provide a womb for the figurative realism of what we cannot name while encouraging a testimony full of clarity. Alice is now too big for the tea party, her Mary Janes have a thin, sparkly strap, and her white stockings are not the hazy skies of wetlands, but the whirling lava of luminescent lamps. These characters float amongst galactic hues and cotton-candy blues. They are accompanied by yellow disks that spin and flourishing floral motifs that in one instance echo the Pop Art of James Rosenquist and in another, the abstraction of Georgia O’Keeffe, but perhaps more so the uncanny play of René Magritte. Is it the rabbit or the duck; we can never be quite sure. The portal for the uncanny, where the unfamiliar becomes familiar and the familiar becomes unfamiliar, reveals itself in Melissa Ríos’s more intimate canvases. With looser brushwork, flashes of refracted light from unseen windows, and often muted, two-toned palettes, the paintings evoke the idea of the peak. With every twinkle or tear Melissa Ríos reminds us that love is not without ambiguity, chance is also destiny, and every moment offers a continuous start. In all her paintings, she depicts the intangibility of dreams through a series of haikus and visual metaphors of the real and the imagined, of the then, now, and later. Melissa Ríos paints her dreams and maybe even yours.” – Text written by curator and writer Taylor Fisch.

About Tequila Komos:

CKBG's flagship brand, Tequila Komos, is the fastest-growing ultra-luxury tequila in the world. Created by industry veteran and former master sommelier, and hospitality icon, Richard Betts, Komos is a Luxury tequila, refined unlike any other. Komos is leading the ultra-luxury tequila category not just in terms of growth, but also with innovative sustainability initiatives in Tequila, Mexico. Continuing work he started when making Mezcal in Oaxaca over ten years ago, Komos founder Richard Betts continues to give back to the community where Komos is created with the not-for-profit “Komos Foundation”. This foundation repurposes byproduct waste from tequila production and turns it into adobe bricks given to the community to build housing, schools, hospitals and other local infrastructure projects. It teaches other tequila producers to do the same, and leads the way in innovative approaches to sustainability in Tequila and beyond. They also work with ITESO University, and a think tank board of professionals and creatives from multiple disciplines and backgrounds to help create new and unique ways to support the community and repurpose tequila byproduct waste materials. In addition, the iconic Komos porcelain bottle is handmade and is designed to be continuously reused and upcycled. This approach reduces the carbon footprint of our supply chain while fulfilling their mission to support local artisans. In each brilliant flavor profile, you’ll experience the highest artistry in tequila crafting with the borrowed inspirations of classic winemaking techniques. With a line of four ultra-luxury tequilas that combine the highest artistry in tequila-making with innovation inspired by winemaking techniques, Komos crafts unique expressions with a global perspective and the intent to expand audiences and occasions. Beginning with the Añejo Cristalino, you’ll notice the rich-softness of a tequila aged for twelve months in French Oak, white wine barrels, instead of the usual journey inside of a bourbon barrel. The French oak barrel gives the tequila a stunning nose of sweet pineapple, bright agave, and a hint of lime zest. Next up is the Reposado Rosa, aged in French oak, red wine barrels from Napa Valley, with a natural pink hue that is naturally derived from grape skins, complimenting its fresh flavors of agave, dark fruit, sweetness of butterscotch, and finished with a note of dark chocolate. The grand finale features the refined Extra Añejo, which has enjoyed a three-year slumber in French white wine barrels and classic bourbon barrels, creating the desirable flavor of the extra añejo lover’s dreams. Enjoy the expanded luxury of all three any time, any day, for life is a special occasion.

About Melissa Rios:

Her artistic production focuses primarily on painting and drawing where she explores and contemplates images and space from a feminine, literary, poetic and surrealist perspective, using the limits between figuration and abstraction as a stylistic resource. Her paintings aim to create visual and imaginary stories or narratives closer to a dream than to reality. Full of great emotional and existential charge, as an exercise in self-knowledge and catharsis, which he shares in an intimate and almost personal way with the viewer. Her academic training involves architecture and advertising design, in a multidisciplinary way he has developed parallel projects of art direction, internal space, product design, furniture and photography. She has recently exhibited individually at Galeria Cuarto 37 in 2021, San José, Costa Rica and collectively at Valoarte 2020, San Jose, Costa Rica and "We Want to Paint" RegionalMuseum of San Ramon, Costa Rica.

About JO-HS Gallery:

Founded in 2020 by Elisabeth Johs, JO-HS is a gallery, design space, retail shop, and artist studio residency located in Mexico City with offices in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland. JO-HS lies at the intersection of art and design supporting primarily emerging contemporary artists supporting them with the production, exhibition, and distribution of their art.

“Realites in Dialogue” Exhibition

On View Until June 15, 2023

121 Watts Street, NYC

Open by appointment only






By ML Staff. Images Courtesy of JO-HS Gallery


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