Sculpture Artist Pablo Rivera Joins show at RS&H

Pablo Rivera was born in El barrio, Spanish Harlem section of New York City and graduated from Cooper Union Art School, New York. He attended classes at The School of Visual Arts and The Educational Alliance, also in New York City. His photographs have been exhibited in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and California. In 2003, Pablo was invited to exhibit his work at Jacksonville International Airport.

Other showings of Pablo’s work included The Jacksonville Consortium of African American Artists, The Jacksonville Coalition of Visual Arts, St. Augustine Art Association, The Beaches Fine arts series, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville and The Ponte Vedra Cultural Center in Ponte Vedra Beach. Photographs of some of Pablo’s sculpture have been used internationally as illustrations for magazine covers, articles, book jackets and advertisements.

Interview with Pablo Rivera

How did you come up with ideas for your art?
The beginnings of my sculpture originate with an image that I play with in drawing form, and I mean “play” with, in the sense of playful investigation of the possibilities. At this point I’m not too serious about end results. Sometimes a sketch makes it to clay maquette, sometimes I will start carving a piece in wood or stone directly from the drawing. I will allow the piece to change from my original image as it develops if I am stimulated by what is occurring during this process. A sweep of hair can become a bird element amplifying my original concept.

How did you make it? (physical and mental process)
The beginnings of my sculpture originate with an image that I play with in drawing form, and I mean “play” with, in the sense of playful investigation of the possibilities. At this point I’m not too serious about end results. Sometimes a sketch makes it to clay maquette, sometimes I will start carving a piece in wood or stone directly from the drawing. I will allow the piece to change from my original image as it develops if I am stimulated by what is occurring during this process. A sweep of hair can become a bird element amplifying my original concept.

What do you see as the strengths of your art, visually or conceptually?
The strength of my sculpture lies in the reaction I can achieve from the viewer. Some of my pieces have humor as part of the concept. I don’t get a belly laugh but a smile usually tells me I’ve connected to another person through my art.

What is the best comment you have ever heard from a patron and/or viewer of your artwork?
I’m guilty of eavesdropping during exhibits of my work specifically to hear some kind of reaction from viewers. “look what he’s done here” when a discovery of an intended deviation from normal is perceived. This comes from the unusual combination of forms such as bird feathers that become fingers.

What artist or artists – art historic or contemporary – inspire you the most?
My artistic heroes are Henry Moore, for the development of form from reality, Martin Puryear, for unusual combinations of materials, Zuniga for the sensuality and monumentality of female forms and Enzo Torcolletti for all of the above. I’m certainly inspired by powerful images by painters as well, Seurat, Van Gogh, Pearlstein and Lucien Freud.

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