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Alejandro Rivera

Current Exhibition: Allegories of the Contemporary
February 8 - 29 | St. Helena
Artist Reception | February 24 | 3 - 5pm

"Through my work, I seek to capture the essence of man made objects that transcend their original purpose and become vessels of cultural and spiritual meaning. I am inspired by the rich history of classical painting, where objects often held symbolic and allegorical significance. I strive to revive this tradition in a contemporary context, mixing classical and contemporary techniques to depict objects and spaces rich with detail and beauty.

By placing these objects in surreal and dreamlike settings, I aim to evoke a sense of wonder and contemplation. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the fantastic invites viewers to question the nature of reality and the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical. I believe that art has the power to transcend the limitations of the mundane and transport us into realms of imagination and transcendence.

My paintings are an exploration of the profound interconnectedness between humans and the objects we create. They depict the ability of humankind to make and enrich objects with cultural and spiritual value, transforming basic mater into symbols of our shared history, beliefs, and aspirations. I hope that through my work, viewers will gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and significance of the things that we build around us, and recognize the profound role they play in describing our capacity to imprint our present day culture for future generations to witness.

Ultimately, my intention is to create paintings that ask of the viewer to transcend observing mere representation and enter portals into a deeper realm of consciousness. I strive to engage viewers on an emotional and intellectual level, inviting them to contemplate the nature of reality, the value of beauty, and the enduring power of the human spirit."

Biography

A virtuosic painter, Mexican artist Alejandro Rivera weaves ingeniously complex allegories for contemporary times. His source material covers vast terrarin: A single series of paintings, for example, may include references as diverse as 14th Century religious art, early photography, Pop art, Greek mythology, economic theory and ancient history. All converge to form irresistible enigmas, careful collages that invite highly imaginitive readings. Analysing his pictures, we see that nearly every element in these immensely detailed works--a drop of water, a clock, a mirror, a stone wall, a shelf, a flower, a cup--figures into a greater narrative that speaks incisively about the human condition.

Energy and mastery pervade every inch of Rivera’s canvases. He does not shy from tackling the likes of Jorge Luis Borges’ dense philosophies or Velasquez’s brilliant legacy, while on a technical level he revels in performing ever more difficult feats. Problems of transparency and shifting textures are handled with characteristic grace. His work incorporates almost every imaginable surface--fabric, wood, glass, steel, grass, marble, tile, and even paint itself. A woman’s legs meld into a stone wall; her arm follows the contours of a landscape that becomes a cloth near the bottom of the painting.

As we have come to expect from Rivera, however, extravagant display couches deep meaning. “I tried to include as many different surfaces as possible in these paintings,” he says. “Some are man-made, and some are taken from nature, but all are related to human creation... As humans, we create things that reflect who we are and what we have achieved as a society. Most objects are thus a metaphor for our existence.”

More than anything else, perhaps, these are paintings about the nature of time--which is to say that they directly address the condition of being. Rivera’s work incessantly juxtaposes the old and the new: He might drape a fresh, beautiful, languid women in crumbling surroundings, or depict a pop-culture artifact alongside an ancient relic. Says Rivera: “The depiction of humans within their constructions, and the inevitable decay of both biological and inanimate entities, are constant in my work. The reappearance of an old master painting in an unlikely place gives it new meaning, and yet also questions our ability to produce anything truly original.” Indeed--an exploration of any Rivera painting reveals a world of cyclical time, where past informs present, future informs past, and metaphors span centuries.

Born

Mexico City, 1974


Education

1992-1993 Painting and drawing in the workshops of the El Nigromante Cultural Center (INBA), San Miguel de Allende. Gto.

1994 Engraving, El Nigromante Cultural Center. SMA, Gto,


Select Solo Exhibitions

2024 "Mind and Mater" Caldwellsnyder Gallery, Napa Valley Ca.
2023 "The Edification of Dreamscapes" Museo Virreinal of Zinacantepec. Estado de México. 2018 "Fragments " Caldwellsnyder Gallery, San Francisco, California.

"The architecture of Virtue" Bellas Artes Cultural Center (INBA), San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 2017 "Materias" Imagine Studio, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
2012 “Flora Awaken” Campton Gallery, New York, NY.
2011 "Recent Work" Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende.
2008 "Imaginary Natures" Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende.
2007 "Recent Works" Caldwellsnyder Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
2006 ''Origins and destination'' Campton Gallery, New York, NY.
2004 “Myths Mirrored”, Trajan Gallery, Carmel Ca.

“Paintings and drawings”, Museum of the city of Queretaro, Qro Mx.

2003 “Five Authors”, Engravings, drawings and plates, Museum of the City of Querétaro, Qro Mx.

2002 “Metaphors of surface”, Campton Gallery. New York, NY.

2001 “Sacred and Profane”, CaldwellSnyder Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.

2000 “Vestiges of the city of the immortals, drawings” Gallery of Contemporary Art. San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

1999 “The Divine Tragedy”, Kunsthaus Santa Fé. San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 1998 “Dreams and Enclosures”, Museum of the City of León, León, Gto.

“Selected paintings”, Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 1997 “Rivera Leal, Paintings”, Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.


Select Group Exhibitions

2018 "300 Years of European Landscapes", Casa Europa, San Miguel de Allende. 2016 "JA Monroy Biennial. CUCSUR. Autlán, Jalisco.

La Calaca, collective exhibition, Obraje forum, San Miguel de A. 2014 "The girl death" National Museum of Mexican Art. Chicago. Il

2013 "La Calaca Festival", Hotel Nena and Casa Europa (Traveling installation). San Miguel de Allende

2005 "Collections, Mexican art in Chicago private collections" Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum Chicago, Il.

2003 “20th Anniversary exhibit” Caldwellsnyder Gallery San Francisco Ca. / New York. 2001 “Introductions South”, San José Institute of Contemporary Art, San José, Ca.

“The Found Paradise (landscapes)” Museum of the City of Querétaro. Qro. 2000 “The New Mannerism” Museum of the City of Querétaro, Qro.

“Contemporary Figurative”, Casa Lam, México DF

“En Construcción, colección Kunsthaus Sta.Fé” (intinerante) University of Guanajuato, Gto and northern Mexico states.

1997 “Reflections on water” Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto “The art of drawing” Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto

1995 “Colosio” Palacio de Minas, México DF.
1992 “San Miguel para San Miguel”, El Nigromante Cultural Center, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.


Special Projects

2016 “La Muerte Negra”, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende, Installation Mural.

2013 “La dulce Muerte” Hotel Nena, San Miguel de Allende, Installation

2011 Baroque music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, 2011 Official poster image.

2006 The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational

2006 Imaginary by Ramón Saldivar. Duke University Press, 2006 Book cover image.


Museum Collections

Museo de la Ciudad de Leon, Leon GTO, Mexico • Museo de Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico • National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL.

Press

PRESS

Selected Artworks

Fire Sermon

Fire Sermon

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

39 x 47 inches

23740

Nebula

Nebula

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

71 x 49 inches

23739

Why is there Something Rather than Nothing?

Why is there Something Rather than Nothing?

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

55 x 71 inches

23738

The Great Attractor

The Great Attractor

Oil on Canvas

51 x 59 inches

23737

The Singularity

The Singularity

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

71 x 79 inches

23736

I Just a Baby

I Just a Baby

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

71 x 35 inches

23735

Into the Valley of the Dragon | SOLD

Into the Valley of the Dragon | SOLD

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

47 x 59 inches

23734

An Eternal Roar, 2022

An Eternal Roar, 2022

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

39 x 43 inches

23733

Third Eye

Third Eye

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

24 x 24 inches

23732

Good Omens

Good Omens

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

23.5 x 23.5 Inches

220093

Atomic Antelope

Atomic Antelope

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

39 x 39 inches

220091

Ambush in the Forest | SOLD

Ambush in the Forest | SOLD

Oil on Canvas

8 x 6 inches, 10 x 8 inches framed

210180

Atomic Garden

Atomic Garden

Acrylic on Canvas

12 x 12 inches

190581

Orb

Orb

Acrylic on Canvas

23.5 x 24 inches

180501

Memories Bloom

Memories Bloom

Oil & Gold Leaf on Canvas

23.5 x 23.5 inches

180433

Day of the Eclipse

Day of the Eclipse

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

19.5 x 27 inches

180432

Island of Dreams | SOLD

Island of Dreams | SOLD

Acrylic on Canvas

23 x 23 inches

180318

Cosmos

Cosmos

Acrylic on Canvas

24 x 20 inches

170564

Born

Mexico City, 1974


Education

1992-1993 Painting and drawing in the workshops of the El Nigromante Cultural Center (INBA), San Miguel de Allende. Gto.

1994 Engraving, El Nigromante Cultural Center. SMA, Gto,


Select Solo Exhibitions

2024 "Mind and Mater" Caldwellsnyder Gallery, Napa Valley Ca.
2023 "The Edification of Dreamscapes" Museo Virreinal of Zinacantepec. Estado de México. 2018 "Fragments " Caldwellsnyder Gallery, San Francisco, California.

"The architecture of Virtue" Bellas Artes Cultural Center (INBA), San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 2017 "Materias" Imagine Studio, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
2012 “Flora Awaken” Campton Gallery, New York, NY.
2011 "Recent Work" Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende.
2008 "Imaginary Natures" Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende.
2007 "Recent Works" Caldwellsnyder Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
2006 ''Origins and destination'' Campton Gallery, New York, NY.
2004 “Myths Mirrored”, Trajan Gallery, Carmel Ca.

“Paintings and drawings”, Museum of the city of Queretaro, Qro Mx.

2003 “Five Authors”, Engravings, drawings and plates, Museum of the City of Querétaro, Qro Mx.

2002 “Metaphors of surface”, Campton Gallery. New York, NY.

2001 “Sacred and Profane”, CaldwellSnyder Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.

2000 “Vestiges of the city of the immortals, drawings” Gallery of Contemporary Art. San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

1999 “The Divine Tragedy”, Kunsthaus Santa Fé. San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 1998 “Dreams and Enclosures”, Museum of the City of León, León, Gto.

“Selected paintings”, Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 1997 “Rivera Leal, Paintings”, Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.


Select Group Exhibitions

2018 "300 Years of European Landscapes", Casa Europa, San Miguel de Allende. 2016 "JA Monroy Biennial. CUCSUR. Autlán, Jalisco.

La Calaca, collective exhibition, Obraje forum, San Miguel de A. 2014 "The girl death" National Museum of Mexican Art. Chicago. Il

2013 "La Calaca Festival", Hotel Nena and Casa Europa (Traveling installation). San Miguel de Allende

2005 "Collections, Mexican art in Chicago private collections" Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum Chicago, Il.

2003 “20th Anniversary exhibit” Caldwellsnyder Gallery San Francisco Ca. / New York. 2001 “Introductions South”, San José Institute of Contemporary Art, San José, Ca.

“The Found Paradise (landscapes)” Museum of the City of Querétaro. Qro. 2000 “The New Mannerism” Museum of the City of Querétaro, Qro.

“Contemporary Figurative”, Casa Lam, México DF

“En Construcción, colección Kunsthaus Sta.Fé” (intinerante) University of Guanajuato, Gto and northern Mexico states.

1997 “Reflections on water” Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto “The art of drawing” Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Gto

1995 “Colosio” Palacio de Minas, México DF.
1992 “San Miguel para San Miguel”, El Nigromante Cultural Center, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.


Special Projects

2016 “La Muerte Negra”, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende, Installation Mural.

2013 “La dulce Muerte” Hotel Nena, San Miguel de Allende, Installation

2011 Baroque music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, 2011 Official poster image.

2006 The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational

2006 Imaginary by Ramón Saldivar. Duke University Press, 2006 Book cover image.


Museum Collections

Museo de la Ciudad de Leon, Leon GTO, Mexico • Museo de Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico • National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL.

A virtuosic painter, Mexican artist Alejandro Rivera weaves ingeniously complex allegories for contemporary times. His source material covers vast terrarin: A single series of paintings, for example, may include references as diverse as 14th Century religious art, early photography, Pop art, Greek mythology, economic theory and ancient history. All converge to form irresistible enigmas, careful collages that invite highly imaginitive readings. Analysing his pictures, we see that nearly every element in these immensely detailed works--a drop of water, a clock, a mirror, a stone wall, a shelf, a flower, a cup--figures into a greater narrative that speaks incisively about the human condition.

Energy and mastery pervade every inch of Rivera’s canvases. He does not shy from tackling the likes of Jorge Luis Borges’ dense philosophies or Velasquez’s brilliant legacy, while on a technical level he revels in performing ever more difficult feats. Problems of transparency and shifting textures are handled with characteristic grace. His work incorporates almost every imaginable surface--fabric, wood, glass, steel, grass, marble, tile, and even paint itself. A woman’s legs meld into a stone wall; her arm follows the contours of a landscape that becomes a cloth near the bottom of the painting.

As we have come to expect from Rivera, however, extravagant display couches deep meaning. “I tried to include as many different surfaces as possible in these paintings,” he says. “Some are man-made, and some are taken from nature, but all are related to human creation... As humans, we create things that reflect who we are and what we have achieved as a society. Most objects are thus a metaphor for our existence.”

More than anything else, perhaps, these are paintings about the nature of time--which is to say that they directly address the condition of being. Rivera’s work incessantly juxtaposes the old and the new: He might drape a fresh, beautiful, languid women in crumbling surroundings, or depict a pop-culture artifact alongside an ancient relic. Says Rivera: “The depiction of humans within their constructions, and the inevitable decay of both biological and inanimate entities, are constant in my work. The reappearance of an old master painting in an unlikely place gives it new meaning, and yet also questions our ability to produce anything truly original.” Indeed--an exploration of any Rivera painting reveals a world of cyclical time, where past informs present, future informs past, and metaphors span centuries.

Alejandro Rivera
Biography

Press

Current Exhibition: Allegories of the Contemporary
February 8 - 29 | St. Helena
Artist Reception | February 24 | 3 - 5pm

"Through my work, I seek to capture the essence of man made objects that transcend their original purpose and become vessels of cultural and spiritual meaning. I am inspired by the rich history of classical painting, where objects often held symbolic and allegorical significance. I strive to revive this tradition in a contemporary context, mixing classical and contemporary techniques to depict objects and spaces rich with detail and beauty.

By placing these objects in surreal and dreamlike settings, I aim to evoke a sense of wonder and contemplation. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the fantastic invites viewers to question the nature of reality and the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical. I believe that art has the power to transcend the limitations of the mundane and transport us into realms of imagination and transcendence.

My paintings are an exploration of the profound interconnectedness between humans and the objects we create. They depict the ability of humankind to make and enrich objects with cultural and spiritual value, transforming basic mater into symbols of our shared history, beliefs, and aspirations. I hope that through my work, viewers will gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and significance of the things that we build around us, and recognize the profound role they play in describing our capacity to imprint our present day culture for future generations to witness.

Ultimately, my intention is to create paintings that ask of the viewer to transcend observing mere representation and enter portals into a deeper realm of consciousness. I strive to engage viewers on an emotional and intellectual level, inviting them to contemplate the nature of reality, the value of beauty, and the enduring power of the human spirit."

Alejandro Rivera

My purpose as an artist is to capture creative aspects of human nature, in particular, the incessant work of transforming matter into object and object into art... to stimulate the dialogue between the observer and the work- a reflection on our corporeal existence and spirituality.

Current Exhibition: Allegories of the Contemporary
February 8 - 29 | St. Helena
Artist Reception | February 24 | 3 - 5pm

"Through my work, I seek to capture the essence of man made objects that transcend their original purpose and become vessels of cultural and spiritual meaning. I am inspired by the rich history of classical painting, where objects often held symbolic and allegorical significance. I strive to revive this tradition in a contemporary context, mixing classical and contemporary techniques to depict objects and spaces rich with detail and beauty.

By placing these objects in surreal and dreamlike settings, I aim to evoke a sense of wonder and contemplation. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the fantastic invites viewers to question the nature of reality and the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical. I believe that art has the power to transcend the limitations of the mundane and transport us into realms of imagination and transcendence.

My paintings are an exploration of the profound interconnectedness between humans and the objects we create. They depict the ability of humankind to make and enrich objects with cultural and spiritual value, transforming basic mater into symbols of our shared history, beliefs, and aspirations. I hope that through my work, viewers will gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and significance of the things that we build around us, and recognize the profound role they play in describing our capacity to imprint our present day culture for future generations to witness.

Ultimately, my intention is to create paintings that ask of the viewer to transcend observing mere representation and enter portals into a deeper realm of consciousness. I strive to engage viewers on an emotional and intellectual level, inviting them to contemplate the nature of reality, the value of beauty, and the enduring power of the human spirit."

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