Artist Statement In Miguel’s work photographic images are manipulated, layered, and placed in
Miguel Ángel Rivera Ortega Biography Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and received his Associates degree in printmaking from the University of Guanajuato, a BFA in printmaking and painting from Southern Oregon University, and his MFA in Visual Studies from West Virginia University. Currently he is the chair and associate professor in printmaking at Kansas City Art Institute. He also has been chair and associate professor of the Art Department of the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Rivera has shown his work extensively in Mexico, Japan and the US.
combination with rendered drawings and prints in an environment that conveys a sacred space. The materials that are used serve as metaphors for the passage of time, memory and the human condition. The layering of the surface functions as a contemporary device. Placing images in this manner helps to reconstruct, examine, and reinvent Catholic iconography. At the same time, layering of these icons creates a double edge or ambiguity of related themes. Within this arrangement, rituals are associated, i.e. penitence and life-after-death, body and soul, heaven and earth, human and godlike figures and the rituals that help to interpret them. One way to understand this is by looking at religious art which has had the power
to reach generations by using symbols and icons that convey values equal to preColumbian past gods and goddesses that were evolving from within. His work also stresses the physicality of the body which is overtly used in this faith in order to promote a better understanding of the complexities of Catholic philosophy which uses the flesh and blood as catalysts for meaning. The interrelation among these symbols is one of his interests, which is called a “pragmatic” relationship, or the way artifacts and symbols can be interpreted by another viewer. There is a way Mexicans view their reality, and this reality is shaped by the same symbols that influenced other artists in Latin America. Miguel feels that his fellow Mexican artisits express the same feelings of identity but not the identity that Americans want to see; instead they are constantly struggling to find themselves in that melted pot that fused several centuries ago.
A catalog of printmakers from West Virginia University, both past and present.