Miguel Rivera

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ARTIST STATEMENT

In my current work, I am visiting my recollection of events and structures that lead one’s daily life such as maps, the magic of belief in forces of physics and deep embedded images from baroque Mexican facades. Layers of signifiers appear of disappear as if I am seeing dormant memories and before I am quick to reinvent them. This work is the result of my current time and place where I am coming to terms with my ideological art discourse. Forms and colors come first to tell my version of my cultural education being an outsider and slowly adapting to my adopted environment. Drawing follows hidden structures as landmarks of experiences that come back or fade away, leaving us with the graphic nature of contour drawing.

My works, as it evolves into layers, it is a progression of manipulated photos and vector drawings that get edited by the destructive nature of laser energy. This act of self-editing comes with a by-product that resembles one questioning our own values thus resulting in a re-birth. Margot Lovejoy used the term Information as Simulation to describe Jean-Francois Lyotard’s ideas to dissolve the basic nature of the object into other states of energy. This works aims to be a time capsule of that action. It has evolved from paper imported to Argentina from France and brought to the US . Their images are distilled from memories in Argentina, Mexico and the US.

The layering of the surface functions as a contemporary interpretation. Placing images in this manner helps me to reconstruct, examine, and reinvent memories of my present being. Superimposing this personal iconography creates a double edge or ambiguity of related themes, ie., the beauty of pathos in suffering. This ambiguity relates to the experience of traveling, living in several environments, being displaced while collecting a visual memory along this path.

The integration of viral patterns became influential as an illustrator to describe the history of colonial immigration from Spain towards in conjunction with the nautical routes used by Columbus and those who followed. Virus was the only factor that helped Europeans to emancipate Native American cultures. A fading image of a Peruvian pigeon or Chicken Pox is a metaphor for our collective damage to the environment. At the same time, a burned drawing using a laser on paper made a symbolic and significant statement of this act.

BIO

Miguel Rivera, associate professor and chair of printmaking, is a practicing artist who has had many solo and group exhibitions in Argentina, Mexico, Japan and the United States. He is a board member at the Kansas City Artists Coalition, KC Artists Inc. Steering Committee Advisor and a former board member at Mattie Rhodes Center in Kansas City. Before joining KCAI, he was chair of the art department at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico, where he also served as an associate professor of printmaking and computers in art. He has lectured as a visiting artist in Argentina, Mexico and the United States, appearing at the Contemporary Arts Festival in Guanajuato, the Southern Graphics Council conference and an alternative printmaking workshop at the second annual Art Students Conference in Queretaro. He earned an M.F.A. from West Virginia University in Visual Arts, a B.F.A. degree in printmaking and painting from Southern Oregon University in Ashland and an associate degree in printmaking from the University of Guanajuato.