Eric Rivera is a young, emerging artist born and raised in Puerto Rico, but currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Influenced by the economical and political crisis of the island, Eric’s art channels his perception of the current situation. It can be seen as a critique, but nonetheless is an appreciation toward his native country.
Claudia Rivera (CR): When did you first realize that art was for you?
Eric Rivera (ER): It’s always sort of been a “thing”. It’s the way I synthesize things, plus I can make things; it’s too fun.
Bomba y Plena (Delonix Regia)
Acrylic & Ink, with Collage
CR: What is the main source of inspiration for your art?
ER: Right now I’m really interested in systems of power and ineffectiveness and cultural histories, particularly that of Puerto Rico.
CR: Who has influenced you the most?
ER: I think some of my peers are a great constant influence; they’re the ones willing to question and critique my ideas and that’s kind of indispensable when I’m trying to create solid work.
Graphite and Digital
CR: Which piece is your favorite (yours & another artist’s)?
ER: One of my favorite things that happened lately was a scanned painting that I tweeted out at Spain’s tourism Twitter account. It made me laugh, and I think art-making is sometimes too prone to a doom and gloom attitude, so that was refreshing.
I was able to see Michael Jones McKean’s The Ground not too long ago, and that was fantastic.
Gracias por las memorias
Scanned Image, attempt at being funny
CR: What form/type of art is your favorite?
ER: Sculpture, especially when it is site specific or allows you to interact with it.
CR: Who are your favorite artists?
ER: Cornelia Parker, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, David Hammons, and Olafur Eliasson are some favorites.
CR: What do you want your audience to feel/think?
ER: I want them to look at the work for more than eight seconds. And then if they’re willing to commit further, a laugh would suffice. If after that, they feel they can take it to the next step, I would love if they could meditate on what the work is trying to convey.
CR: How have you transformed as an artist in the past four years?
ER: I have become more curious as I ask and research more. I have also grown better at understanding and conveying concepts
CR: What are you working on currently?
ER: I am trying to build a bigger sculpture, partly to see if I can actually do it. It will also be a way to investigate modular fabrication with the usual political overtones sprinkled on top.
Plywood, Red Oak, Poplar, Latex, Screws
CR: What does the future hold?
ER: Learning how to be a more eco-conscious individual and showing work seem like good future endeavors.
Follow his Instagram @ea.rb or check out his website http://www.eric-rb.com for his latest works.