30.png

In my current work I have embraced a broad definition of the word “nature”. I am in tune with the natural world and the nature of man. Our relationship to others and the natural world is at the crux of my thought and working process.  I am deeply interested in man’s potential for greatness and potential for destruction. I have become a student of history, political theory, philosophy, psychology, and religion to better understand our relationship to the world and each other. I will continue to study in order to endow the conceptual parts in my sculpture for its viewers.

My work processes and esthetic concerns remain the same. I still am very interested in repetitive actions. The physical act of attaching pieces of material whether welding or hot glue help guide me in clearing my mind of extraneous thought. I liken the experience to a sort of Zen Buddhist meditation where some form of enlightenment occurs.

I attempt to engage the viewer through movement, color, scale, and repetition of surface. It is important that my hand is visible in the work of art. A very machined finish erases the history I have with the material and is counter to the experience I would like the viewer to have.

Although trained in a number of sculptural materials I often work in steel because of its physical strength, temporality-corrosion by the elements; connections to Modern art and to the very beginnings of man’s use of tools and fire. Pablo Picasso, Julio Gonzales and David Smith are the fathers of what I do today. Working in steel is a way for me to pay homage to this particular history and its other imbued historical meanings; the Iron Age, weapons, tools, the Industrial Revolution, machinery, and bridges.  

I feel a real responsibility to be a part of the human dialogue because of my children. I cannot live in a cocoon through my work knowing I owe them an awareness of the world. I am taking on the world of human thought and man's interaction and relationship to nature because I owe it to my family and myself to be intellectually active in this dialogue.

Michael Rivera