Mario de Rivera earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas in the 70’s.
He applied his advertising major in his work in the Middle East and China. Mario’s inspirations in his work came from his travel and interaction with wide range of people and culture. His paintings are a hybrid of images, colours, textures, cultures, religions and individual traditions.
During the 70’s and 80’s he is represented by renowned galleries during that time. Galleries such as Solidaridad, Mayi Gallery, Hiraya Gallery and Gallerie Bleu showcased his works.
Additionally, De Rivera was part of a group show entitled “The Masters” in Art Gallery by The Manila Hotel last November 2018.
Moreover, he received an Excellence Award from Beppu Asia Contemporary Art Competition for his work entitled “Nuestra Eden Perdido”.
What inspired you to become an artist?
It just happened that way.. My mother was an art teacher, and I grew up thinking art was part of all our lives. Pretty much like sports and music , etc. But the magic moment happened when I went to Luz Gallery to see the works of the great Chilean artist, Claudio Bravo one fine morning in 1969. I was alone in the gallery when out of the blue Bravo himself walked in. I was star-struck and tongue-tied! And I was sure I wanted to be a full-time artist!
What was your first exhibit like?
My first exhibit was a “hit”, if I may say so myself! Because Francisco Sionil Jose himself wrote my first-ever write-up! If only for this, I say it was a roaring success. It was a good way to start, I guess. I was fresh from college and to exhibit at the Solidaridad gallery was a dream come true for me.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a few paintings for a couple of group shows later this year
What is your process like?
Art comes naturally, I guess. It is almost like breathing, you never think about it. It’s just there. But music inspires me big time and travel. Being exposed to other cultures is a big source of inspiration, too.
What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?
Art has a way of fine-tuning one’s sensibilities. It sharpens one’s focus and one is able to express things you’d never thought possible.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created?
I have many favorite pieces..
But most of them are now with collectors. Among these works are:
a) Ave Maris Stella
b) Caballos de los Sueños
c) The Sleeping Concubine
d) My Joy
e) The Eastern Shore
What is your favorite piece by another artist?
I can’t readily say which art piece by another artist is my favorite. There are hundreds..
But the bust of Nefertiti astounded me when I saw it face to face in Berlin. As well as renaissance art I saw in Italy.
Why do you work in the medium that you do?
I started working with oils. And acrylic. Until someone gave me a jar of modelling paste that I started to play with. I had so much fun that I now I mix up different mediums for flexibility.
What is your favorite place to create in?
These days my favorite place to create in is this ‘informal’ area near the kitchen where I can be messy and all. I enjoy working in this space because I also love to cook. But the most memorable place I’ve created in was our rented flat in Bondi Beach in the early ’90s which was 5 minutes away from what I think is one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. This was where I created my collection called “Palace of Memory”. Now and then my wife and I go back to Bondi to recharge and get inspired all over again..