Rivas’ relief sculptures took me by surprise when I encountered them around a corner. The artist has simply carved selected scenes (typically some sort of interior decoration) directly into otherwise unaltered sheets of drywall. This is a nifty idea. Rivas takes a material whose soul purpose really is to build out interior spaces, carves it up and creates a representation of a more elegant interior space. He has added nothing to the drywall and really has probably hasn’t taken much away either. He has simply “revealed” a depiction of another interior.
I also appreciate the efficiency of Rivas’ mark making. He doesn’t do too much to the material to make it unstable or over-the-top. He does just enough to reveal the imagery without making it too obvious.
I appreciate the juxtapositions he creates in his work. His material is the same as what his art is resting against. He uses an interior construction material to reveal an interior. The surface is at once raw but the shapes he reveals are elegant. It’s sophisticated work.
Note: The first image shows two of the three panels included in the show.