Santigo Rivera

Santigo Rivera

FaraHNHeight
Fine Arts represents
Santigo Rivera

Santiago Rivera, a Mescalero, Apache, and Hispanic, has a real connection with Taos, New Mexico, because of his grandfather, his mother’s father. They would come to Taos often to go on camping and fishing trips. Taos would also be the first time Santiago got his introduction into the art world. Santiago remembers going to galleries in the plaza and admiring the art for the first time and many times after.At first, Santiago was not a painter but sculpted with clay. Growing up on a ranch and going to rodeos, he one day found clay deposits in a nearby creek and started playing with it and realized it did not dissipate. Santiago would then create nonsensical abstract work and leave it on the beach to dry. He then began to paint them. However, he would put down clay making for quite a while and take on an interest in painting at sixteen years old. Santiago then began his self-taught artistic expression through painting and glass sculpting.With no formal training, Santiago believes being self-taught is his MO (modus operandi).

Whenever he wants to do something, he just dives into it. For instance, when he started to get into glass he could sculpt, he was living in a manager’s quarter at an apartment complex that he once owned and bought books, a kiln, and some glass and started creating glass art. Soon after starting his glass work, Santiago would go on to be recognized and nominated for several awards and three subsequent scholarships to Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Without training, Santiago did not have outside influence, but he got to be with other artists and learn all different types of modalities.Additionally, Santiago attributes his artistic influence to his grandmother, who was a true artist but never picked up a paintbrush or sculpted anything per se; but moved about the world and taught what she artistically knew of life, making quilts. Santiago describes his grandmother as having a way of viewing the world through forms and shapes. They would collect driftwood and carve things like pirate ships. She also taught Santiago how to sew the sails and cut out the skull and crossbones. She even taught him how to quilt on her Singer Sewing Machines.

Today, Santiago is a successful artist and celebrates being celebrated in Taos. In September, Santiago was recently invited and hosted an artist showcase at the Stables Art Gallery in Taos. Within the first twenty minutes of opening his show, Taos Inn asked Santiago to be one of three artists to fill the hotel and ordered sixteen pieces. By the end of his show, more of his artwork was picked up by Hotel La Fonda and gallery owners. Santiago feels truly blessed to have had such a successful event.Santiago believes art is important to society for many reasons. Mainly, art is expressionism and is also record keeping.

For Santiago, art is a way for certain people to express themselves not only in the moment but live their ideas, no matter how abstract or behind, for the future to try to understand. When he first started creating art, it was a way to relax. However, in the last few years, Santiago actually felt like he needed to say something. He started to look at art differently and realized its power and influence.One piece of advice that Santiago gives other artists is never to be pigeonholed. The artist should create what is in their hearts and what they want to create, not what somebody tells them to create. Santiago states that he sold more work during the pandemic than his entire life. And that is because he truly started doing what he really wanted to do and then found the right people to find the right venues to sell his work.

“I want Contemporary Native American Art to be celebrated as much as any other genre. Whatever small part I have in that endeavor is true success!” – Santiago Rivera

Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera
Artwork by Santigo Rivera

For personalized assistance and inquires about purchasing fine art from one of our artists