Renato Sánchez Ríos grew up with shamanist traditions and has assimilated them since his childhood. Consequently his approach is not that of an ethnologist observing them from a distance but completely natural and straightforward. This is why his images are unique and strangely alluring.
There are two symbols that will frequently appear in these paintings: the stepped pyramid and the “Chakana”, the pre-Columbian cross, The upper steps of the pyramid belong to the Gods. These are frequently represented by eagles and condors. The middle and lower levels of the pyramid, respectively, correspond to the world of Here and Now (symbols: mountain lion, wolf, fox) and the Realm of the Dead (symbol: snake).
The Chakana-cross not only represents the compass rose but also the four human races – red, white, yellow and black – as well as the elements Earth, Fire, Water and Wind.
Describing this iconography in detail would go beyond the scope of this summary, especially considering that Renato Sánchez Ríos frequently adds symbols of his own invention. To paraphrase a well known saying, his paintings are mythologies seen through a temperament, a very peculiar one, to be sure.”(Peter Zwirner)