Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chemistry in Today's Artworld

Richard Riverin
Artistic Chemistry

-Gabriel Diego Delgado

Art Creditability is not always evident when looking at fine art. We can review visual prestige based on art history, personal preferential comparisons and other factors that play a role in how we appreciate what we see in a studio, gallery or museum.
Yet, sometimes the back-story is as interesting as the aesthetic; the building up of a personal artist chronicle that forms a foundation in which we mentally seize and utilize along on the ride of our art experiences and admirations.

Richard Riverin is an artist whose past successful career(s) shaped where he has arrived today, giving us a playful epiphany of collaborative efforts; Scientist turned manufacturer, turned gallery owner, turned professional artist.  Often mislabeled, maybe a bit of nonconformist, Riverin’s artwork cannot be pigeonholed into a simple Impressionistic genre. Sure, on first glance, all the right components, ingredients, and compositional constituents ring true for such acceptance into Art Historical classifications.  But, “none shall pass”, I say. “You blinded me with Science! I cry.

Comparatively yes, we know Robert Gamblin of Gamblin Artist Oil Colors ™ developed his own oil paints with alkyd resins mixed with pure pigments, raw materials and Gamsol odorless mineral spirits. While century old Winsor & Newton Artist Oils has been using the same chemical standard since 1832; providing great artists’ standard products used in timeless impressionistic paintings over the last hundred years.  Fast forward to contemporary chemist pioneers like Richard Riverin who is pushing the limits of synthetic polymers for 21st century applications.

It’s not very often that the scientific world crosses paths with the art world. Yves Klein dabbled with this discipline in the 1960’s with his patented ultramarine IKB (International Klein Blue); a synthetic granulated polymer was used exclusively by him in his anthropometries series of monochrome paintings.

And now, Richard Riverin, the chemist/artist patents a new high gloss synthetic polymer to use in Fine Art. A painted canvas that can be rolled, without fear of cracking; paint with a flexibility that has not been seen in the fine art realm before. Unique to his art, Riverin has an ability to be a game changer while maintaining a certain traditional and classical artistic genre. Two worlds colliding for artistic achievement, Impressionism and artist patented synthetic polymer paint.

“Early Snow”, is a 20” x 24” landscape of some nondescript setting.  Washed-out tones mixed with a foggy-like ethereal, cancel any second glance in normal circumstances. There is nothing to hold the eye, color wise,- no “push and pull” of vibrant edges, hues or contrasting colors {A Fauvism favorite}. But hold onto those “rose colored” glasses of positive vibrations, layers and layers of scraped on paint, gestural swipes and strikes; subtle blending of streaks create activated surfaces that are reminiscent of segmented plates on tortoise shells. High gloss swatches of color come together like Seurat pointillism on steroids.  Groupings of three hence back to a sacred undertone of the Divine Trinity; a throwback to his devout religious beliefs.

Flat spatial dimensions arise from the general application of chosen pigments. There is a visually distinguishable front, middle and background, but with identical sized dabs Riverin’s flatness contrasts typical paintings of this genre. He wants us to focus on the multi-directional visual strokes juxtaposed by the vertical trees. A double cobalt blue horizon line is used to differentiate the planes. But purposeful carvings are done alongside the trees and shrubbery, outlining the subject matter, distinguishing it from the “all over” painterly applications.

Part businessman, part artist, Richard Riverin has laid the groundwork for a flourishing artistic career with successful ventures at the ArtExpo, New York and many solo exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad.

© Gabriel Diego Delgado

"Early Snow" is available for sale at J.R.Mooney Galleries

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