Rivera is a contemporary painter residing and working in Tallahassee Florida. His artistic practice uses paint to investigate his relationship with screen media and popular culture. As an only child in a single-parent household, he draws from the hours spent in his formative years on television and computer media. He pulls from his experience of being a person of color growing up in the early 90s to examine the ease of accessibility screen media presented to him as a child. Since the digital revolution, the curated allure of popular culture, generated by the media industries has only grown. While the internet has exponentially increased the possibility of fostering self-improving habits, it has also perfected the ease of accessibility to time-consuming entertainment media, a choice the artist struggles with.
The work references found images and video stills, reproducing this collective dynamic into a cacophony of layers and strokes of paint. These references range from art-historical to cartoons like He-Man. The iconography comes from sources such as social media logos, entertainment and food advertisements, historical popular culture ephemera, and other Americana and internet culture. This body of work combines moments of naturalist painting with illustration and graphic design. Rivera pairs expressive brushwork against moments of traditional realism to mirror the flattening visual effect screen media has on the experience of individual perception.
Rivera was invited to show work at Daytona State College (2018) and recently exhibited a solo show at the Tallahassee Airport Gallery entitled, Batteries Not Included (2019), and participated in Artfields 2021.
Rivera received his BFA with a focus in painting from the University of Central Florida (2017) and his Masters of Fine Art (2021) from Florida State University.