David Rivera has taken realism to a different level. Trained at the Philadelphia Academy of Art and the New York Academy of Figurative Art, he is influenced by Dutch and Flemish painters. His students at Mercer County Community College are lucky to have him. Just look at this image, “Gypsy Dreamer” — that’s no photograph! It’s oil on panel.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Rivera won the Utrecht Art Award in the Ellarslie Open 2008. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with representations of the visual world,” he says. “As an artist I try to express my thoughts, feelings, and visions in whatever subject I explore. Whether I am working on a landscape, portrait, or still-life, I search for ways to transform my subjects into vital images. Often this means enhancing the colors, tones, or textural qualities, but always I try and remain truthful to the source, thus creating an image that will appear tangible to the viewer in its realism.”
“I’m drawn emotionally towards the beauty in small objects, such as the texture on the petals of a dried flower, or the way light catches the gleam in someone’s eye, or the reflections in a mottled glass vase. In carefully observing these subjects I discover a world that is filled with many subtle nuances that are often missed at a quick glance, and in the process of drawing or painting them, I become absorbed in a visual poem. I feel very fortunate to be able to experience this, and I hope that the outcome will touch others as intensely as the process of creating them touches me.”
His work can be seen in Two Faces of Realism at Premiere Fine Arts Gallery in Lambertville Oct. 26-Nov. 9.