Through vivid and colorful portraits, artist John Rivas (b. 1997, Newark, N.J.) carefully creates multimedia portraits that serve as odes to his community and the Salvadorian community. Using materials like paint, felt, fabric, wood, corn, beads, and frames, these become symbolic tools for the narrations he crafts.
Rivas, a first-generation American, has a unique cross-cultural experience that becomes a muse in all of his works. Unable to meet many of his family members, he sorted through his family archives to connect and discover his ancestors and family traditions.
Sourcing subjects from his mother’s photo album was the entry point that invited him to celebrate the Latinx concept of family, culture, and tradition. He received his Bachelor of Fine arts from the School of Visual Arts, and then went on the pursue a Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University. He’s exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, San Juan, Newark, and amongst many other locations.