Wk4 – Artist Interview – Daniel Rivera


After my last Math Class of the week, I usually stroll over to the Galleries on Wednesday and take a sneak peek before everyone else in the class. Less people, One on One conversations with the artists, and Great Uncrowded Pictures. Looking at the Galleries with my friend, we stumbled upon the Merlino Gallery, which had “Post Tenebras Lux“. Me and my friend thought that the Gallery was awesome compared to the others. In the Gallery, on the main wall, displayed blocks of 2X4’s painted in fluorescent paint. Near the paintings, black lights were installed. We tried finding the Artist to the amazing galley outside, but we couldn’t find him. After asking another artist, we found out that he’ll come back in an hour. So we spent our time in the Library researching Post Tenebras Lux in order to get a more in depth answer for the Gallery. Coming back to the Galleries, we were informed by the artist we asked that Daniel Rivera was finally here! Yay! We thought…… but after waiting an hour, we soon met the artist of the Gallery.

Daniel Rivera is a Senior at Long Beach State majoring in Drawing and Painting. When we first met him, my friend and I thought, “Great. Time to get our questions answered!”. But once Daniel started talking,  we soon regretted it. When Daniel started talking, He gave off a vibe that he didn’t want to be there. We politely asked him if he could answer some of our questions, and he told us there’s no questions to answer since everything is in his “Artist Statement”. Okay…..

But since we told him that previous artist’s gave more in depth questions by us asking them questions, he finally told us to “SHOOT QUICK QUESTIONS“. Daniel Rivera answers were very short and vague. Daniel considers his art 3D and he created this painting because he got bored with a brush. I then asked him when he started painting/drawing and he sarcastically responded, “Uhh… ever since i first got my hand on a pencil”.

Daniel took 3 months to complete this painting, which he did during the Winter Break. The painting represents a person ripping away from thinking, and seeing things in a new perspective. After asking what he intended the viewers to think/feel, Daniel said he wasn’t concern for the viewers thought or feelings about his art, he just wanted his painting containing his feeling out there on display. The 2X4 blocks on the wall represent a connection to construction and breaking down the “structure of thinking“. The blocks had rips coming out of it because he’s illustrating ripping away from thinking as well as breaking the mold of thinking.

Meeting Daniel was not a satisfying experience. He was the first artist I have Interviewed that made me felt like I was being attacked. His work can speak for itself, but snapping at curious students does not give out a good impression for him. Going to the Galleries today, I soon realized that I was not the only student being attack by Mr.Rivera. Overhearing his conversation for today’s class, There was no difference of what he responded with yesterday than with what he told my peers today. Today seemed like he was worse; Snapping at people who simply wanted to take a picture of him.

From the words of Marina Abramovic, “Art must be beautiful. Artist must be beautiful”. Yes, Daniel’s work was amazing! But to me, the word beautiful has indefinite amount of meanings. Beauty is on the inside and the Outside, and I felt he Dainiel was not pretty in the Inside Whatsoever.




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