Hugo Rivera, Contemporary Figurative Artist

Hugo Rivera is a Mexican contemporary, figurative artist. His childhood was shaped by the fact that he was born into an extremely creative family full of singers, musicians, craftsmen and painters. Not to mention that his father who was a topographer engineer always allowed Hugo Rivera to use his working materials such as pencils, rulers and paper. His father always encouraged him to paint by buying him crayons, colored pencils and drawing paper.

While studying civil engineering in Guadalajara, Mexico and not having too much time and space to paint he would paint on the walls of his bedroom; That’s where he painted his first big mural which was the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Since then he has a passion to paint on big surfaces.

After graduating as Civil Engineer he relocated to the United States and returned to his passion for fine art.

In 1994 he started working as a muralist, he was commissioned numerous murals and decorative finishes in private residences, restaurants and churches, while he continued to paint on canvas in his spare time. Inspired by great masters like Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera and other artists; Hugo Rivera began experimenting and creating his own individualized style and technique of painting.

Hugo Rivera’s work has been successfully exhibited in many galleries including a permanent exhibition at Museum Vladimir Cora in Nayarit, Mexico. He also has exhibited his art work throughout his local community and at nationally prestigious outdoor juried fairs including the Indian Wells Art Festival in which he won Second Place Award. At San Diego’s original Fine Art Festival where he was honored as a featured artist. At Beverly Hills Art Festival, Malibu Art Festival and La Jolla Festival of Arts. Hugo Rivera was also the recipient of Best Work by a First Year Artist Award in 2013 at the Sawdust Art Festival and from his recent participation at the same festival he won third place for Best Painting Award. Currently, Hugo Rivera is an internationally renowned artist. His work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide.

Hugo Rivera’s work continues to grow, always finding ways to reinvent himself by coming up with new ideas.

In 1994 Hugo Rivera began working as a muralist. By 2000 he opened a painting studio in Huntington Beach but it wasn’t until 2007 that he decided to focus more time on his painting career. In 2012 Hugo Rivera opened his own gallery ”Hugo Rivera Gallery” in the city of Laguna Beach (550 south coast Hwy int #3, Laguna Beach CA 92651).

Currently, Hugo Rivera lives in Laguna Beach with his wife Erika and son Diego Rivera.

Art Statement

My art work is a fusion of the abstract world and the traditional methods in art instruction of the human figure where my ideas, emotions, and visual sensations are communicated solely through lines, shapes, colors, and textures that latter will create in my imagination figures that I will pull out from the canvas and make them more visible. In my compositions I have most of the time the female figure because I find it full of emotions and rhythm.

Media Used

Organic lime plaster is made with river lime stones, marble as an aggregate, and water. Lime plaster finishes naturally absorbs carbon dioxide from the air causing the plaster to return to its natural rock state over time creating beautiful frescos traditionally used by Michael Angelo and Diego Rivera.

I create the frescos on wood panels. I combine different colors of lime plaster and by using different spatula sizes, at the same time as I’m drawing, I apply endless coats with dramatic movement achieving and revealing more depth and texture. The look of lime plaster is natural. Its finishes have an iridescence, and translucency that make the finishes look richer.

Since I’m always into having a textured surface, when painting with acrylics, I use very dense paint, almost like lime plaster to create a thick and full texture. I apply the paint with a large flat brush made especially for acrylics; I use the small brushes only for detailed areas.

Painting with acrylics is very similar to painting with lime stone. In both I use a thick paste and my end product is a textured piece of art.

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