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. For my purpose, I use tools such as imagination, sleep and memory. I paint spaces that collapse inside a universe inhabited by characters that represent the traditional themes of painting such as mythology, religion, eroticism, the relationship between life and death, etc ... The goal is to create works with a psychological and aesthetic burden that stimulates the dialogue between the observer and the work, a reflection on our corporeal existence and spirituality; the tangible and the imaginary, the individual and the collective.

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.

Solo Exhibitions

2018  Fragments, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA

             “Arquitectura de la Virtud”, Centro Cultural el Nigromante, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2017  “Mente y Materia”, Iamgine Studio, San Miguel de Allende

2012  Flora Awaken, Campton Gallery, New York, NY

2011  Recent Works, Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2008  Still lifes and Pots, watercolors and drawings. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2007  Recent Work, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA

2006  Origin and destinations, Campton Gallery, New York, NY

2004  Myths Mirrored, Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA

             Paintings and drawings, Museum of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico

2003  Five authors, Etchings, drawings and plates. Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico

2002  Metaphors of surface, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, New York, NY

2001  Sacred and Profane, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2000  Vestiges from the city of immortals, drawings, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo S.M.A., Mexico

1999  The divine Tragedy, Kunsthaus Santa Fé, S.M.A.. Mexico

1998  Dreams and inclosures, Museum of the city of León, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico

             Selected Paintings, Casa de Sierra Nevada, S.M.A., Mexico


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

Ambush in the Forest

Ambush in the Forest

Oil on Canvas

8 x 6 inches, 10 x 8 inches framed

210180

Atomic Garden

Atomic Garden

Acrylic on Canvas

12 x 12 x 2 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 on Canvas

19.5 x 27 inches

180432

Island of Dreams

Island of Dreams

Acrylic on Canvas

23 x 23 inches

180318

Cosmos

Cosmos

Acrylic on Canvas

24 x 20 inches

170564

Solo Exhibitions

2018  Fragments, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA

             “Arquitectura de la Virtud”, Centro Cultural el Nigromante, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2017  “Mente y Materia”, Iamgine Studio, San Miguel de Allende

2012  Flora Awaken, Campton Gallery, New York, NY

2011  Recent Works, Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2008  Still lifes and Pots, watercolors and drawings. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2007  Recent Work, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA

2006  Origin and destinations, Campton Gallery, New York, NY

2004  Myths Mirrored, Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA

             Paintings and drawings, Museum of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico

2003  Five authors, Etchings, drawings and plates. Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico

2002  Metaphors of surface, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, New York, NY

2001  Sacred and Profane, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2000  Vestiges from the city of immortals, drawings, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo S.M.A., Mexico

1999  The divine Tragedy, Kunsthaus Santa Fé, S.M.A.. Mexico

1998  Dreams and inclosures, Museum of the city of León, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico

             Selected Paintings, Casa de Sierra Nevada, S.M.A., Mexico


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.

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.

Press

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. For my purpose, I use tools such as imagination, sleep and memory. I paint spaces that collapse inside a universe inhabited by characters that represent the traditional themes of painting such as mythology, religion, eroticism, the relationship between life and death, etc ... The goal is to create works with a psychological and aesthetic burden that stimulates the dialogue between the observer and the work, a reflection on our corporeal existence and spirituality; the tangible and the imaginary, the individual and the collective.

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