Exclusively at the Torres Gallery
The Torres Gallery was established over ten years ago to showcase the extraordinary gourd art of Robert Rivera. To this day, Roberts art is shown in New Mexico exclusively at the Torres Gallery. Through his artistic ability, Robert transforms the lowly gourd into an object of beauty, power and symbolism. As such, they become highly collectible fine art objects.
Robert has a limitless supply of ideas and designs. To quote: Many of them come from the area itself. I get a lot of inspiration from the Native American people, but most of the pieces come directly out of my own head. Every gourd is different. I can walk up to one and instantly see what would look good with it.
He loves the old designs prevalent in Native American culture prehistoric and historic especially the Anasazi, Hohokam and Mimbres bird and animal designs which he incorporates into his gourd pots and rattles.
Over the years, Robert has created medicine men chanters, Navajo warriors, Hopi butterfly maidens, Navajo drummers, storytellers with as many as 33 children, Apache burden basket ladies, turtle storytellers and masks of every size and description. Among the most famous are his deer antler ghost masks. He also transforms gourds into pots of every size and shape using prehistoric designs as well as Acoma and Hopi kachina faces, fetish bears, rabbits, deer, birds and more.
The gourds are stitched, etched, cut, broken, scorched, sandblasted, dyed and wrapped. They are adorned with yucca fiber, suede, buckskin, raffia, African beads, shells, heishi from the Santo Domingo Pueblo, inlaid turquoise, willow sticks, horsehair, turkey feathers, cloth, snake skin and tablita headresses.
Robert was probably the first to use gourds as a fine art medium in a contemporary southwestern fashion. Robert says, I am not the first person to recognize the beauty of gourds. Gourds were probably the first utensils of mankind, and have been found in tombs around the world. The Indians have been using them for centuries in many utilitarian ways, for scraping and shaping pottery vessels, as well as for ceremonial purposes as rattles and even kachinas.
So whether you are just discovering the beautiful gourd art of Robert Rivera, or you have been watching his work evolve over the years, one thing is for certain. Just when you think he has thought of everything to do with a gourd, he will come up with yet another breathtaking creation that will capture your heart and color your imagination.
Rivera Book Signing
Robert Riveras new book Rivera was introduced to the public on Friday, August 17, 2007 at a book signing, exhibition and reception at Santa Fes Torres Gallery. The signing was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Only a few copies remain of the signed artist reserve edition which was printed for this event. An additional limited edition of 350 copies will be made available through the Torres Gallery as well as two other galleries which represent his work.
Robert is now developing a line of jewelry which was also introduced at the book signing. Guests were treated to viewing his signed brass and sterling Mimbres turtle pendants inlaid with ancient pottery shards and semi-precious stones such as turquoise, pipe stone and jet. Earrings and bracelets will soon be in production as well, and should be available on this web site for Holiday gift giving. Robert continues to make his beloved traditional pieces which have been collected for 25 years, as well as evolving in more contemporary directions, piquing the interest of new generations of collectors.