John Rivas (b. 1997, Newark, NJ) is a figurative painter whose narrative is guided by the stories of his ancestors. As a first generation American, Rivas’ artwork is enriched with tales of family members many of whom he’s met remotely or through photographs. Rivas’ paintings occupy space like sculpture juxtaposing unexpected objects many of which are sourced from his childhood. His brush strokes are expressive marks that add to the visual collage. Each painting is loaded with symbolism that result in intimate compositions celebrating the Latin concept of family and community. Rivas will be attending Columbia University in the Fall of 2019.