THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
On 3 February 2021, a local hotel became the location for an unexpected event that saw world-renown actor and singer Will Smith come face to face with his biggest fan – who is also a highly talented and respected artist – Mark Rios, better known as Mr. Dripping.
Much is already known about Mr. Dripping, an artist who developed the painting technique of dripping originally used by Jackson Pollock, but not much is known about his admiration for Smith and his unrelenting, burning desire to capture his idol on canvas.
Long before his meeting with Smith, Mr. Dripping has followed inspiration and his desire to paint without physically touching a canvas and progressing Pollock's method further. "What before was just lines of paint, dropped uncontrollably onto a canvas to create something that changed with perception is now given a personal, realistic, humanly figure," explains Mr. Dripping.
With this movement gaining much traction, Mr. Dripping's client appointments have now taken the form of live painting, and the painting of portraits. "I am flown around the world to their homes for performance art experiences."
Since then, Mr. Dripping has painted celebrities which include, but are not limited to Paul Pogba, Chris Brown, Sara Sampaio, and now, Will Smith. "Imagine having your biggest idol watch you perform - this is what I felt today, as Will Smith sat across the room watching me paint a portrait of him. Will Smith has always been a person I have looked up to. I have watched him on tv dating back to The Fresh Prince."
"When I discovered that my celebrity idol was staying in the same hotel as me, I decided to prepare a portrait, along with a video of the process to be delivered to him. This was even before I knew Will Smith was willing to meet with me in a room. Mr. Dripping was then determined to make the most out of it. As Smith's security, staff, and management entered the room expecting to see a video and a dry portrait, the talented artist lifted a blanket only to reveal a white canvas. "Everyone was stunned. If you weren't here I'd have no choice but to deliver a painting to you, dry and in a box, but the beauty of it lies in the process and you're standing right here so please I ask you to sit and enjoy," said Mr. Dripping to Smith.
Smith smiled as he sat on the chair three meters away from the artist. Between the process, jokes and laughter were enjoyed with a final portrait coming to life of Smith. "Can you imagine the person who you've always admired is now standing and clapping for you ... It's an inexplicable feeling that I will never forget."
To watch a recording of this rare Performance Art Experience, click here.