Ulises Rivero

Cuban born artist, studied art and design at Moscow State Polygraphic Institute from 1988 to 1991, under the supervision of Mae Petrovich Miturich, Vasily Valerius, Evgueni Kozubov and other great Russian artists. Graduated as Informational Designer at Instituto Superior de Diseño, Havana Cuba. Finished studies on Commercial photography at the New York Institute of Photography. Participated at group exhibitions in Russia, Argentina and United States. Currently represented by ICALMA Gallery from Argentina and Linea Contemporánea Gallery from Evanston, IL.
My work, which includes drawings, paintings, photography, and some sculptures, visits the surrealism and expressionism with political and social themes, also satirical portraits, representing dark and light moments of people’s life through fictional characters avoiding the realistic rendering and exaggerating expressions and facial features. Working mostly with acrylic on canvas, is been dominated to use any other surfaces like wood and cardboard, and mixing oil with acrylic paints.
• Semi-finalist of Masters of Hasselblad photographic competition in 2008.
• ‘Art takes Times Square’ in 2012, group exhibition
• ‘Best 20 photographs of NATGEO in October 2012
• Photo of the day, April 6th, 2013, NATGEO.
• Group exhibition ‘Mai Miturich and students’ at Moscow University of Printing Arts in 2015,
Joined ICALMA GALLERY artists’ group in 2018 and participated in group exhibitions:
• ‘El bodegon vino a Argentina’ December 2019
• Group exhibition Mid format, Argentina (virtual) June 2020
• ‘Recorriendo el Hemisferio, Argentina (virtual) 2020.
• Chicago Public Schools Teacher Appreciation Arts Exhibition, April 2021
Published two books ‘Black, white and color’ (photobook about Cuba) in 2008 and ‘Americano design’ (about the details of the classic American cars) in 2010.
Has works in private collections in Russia, Spain, United States, and Dominican Republic.
Works as an Art teacher at Aspira Charter Network in Chicago since 2014.
Reader for the Advanced Placement Art and Design exam for the College Board, since 2020

My work is a result of a daily teaching practice, exploring different themes and techniques with my students.
The searching for my identity as an artist is the struggle guiding my work. After taking the opportunity to study at Moscow State Polygraphic Institute between 1988 and 1991, and learning from established masters, the influence from the Russian culture, isolated me from the Cuban art scenery. Studying later the western ways of artmaking, the abstract expressionism and the new cubism marked a new start in my way of making art, being influenced by George Condo’s work, the graphic treatment of portraits, and the strong use of lines and colors, my work is taking a new direction based on experimentations.
Working with students created the opportunity to refresh the daily practice. The series of abstraction was born, out of the images I found on students’ tables, which represent the exploration of colors and the searching of an identity that is in permanent change. The titles were imposed after the paintings were finished and a reflection was made. Working with no sketches is the feature of my work, there is no pre-conception, and the ideas are coming roughly into the canvas, exploring each corner and finding their correct position.


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