Luisa Rivera Illustrates The Surreal


One panel of Rivera’s Wolf Moon diptych. Courtesy of the artist.

There are entire worlds inside Luisa Rivera’s artwork – surreal and hypnotic scenes that beg to be explored. The painter and illustrator hails from Santiago, Chile, but she’s currently studying at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on a Fulbright scholarship.

We asked Rivera four questions about her art and process.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by nature and the different ways we relate to it. I also draw from science, mythology, stories, folk culture and music.

How would you describe the Minneapolis art scene?

There are many galleries and exhibition spaces for young and emerging artists to show work, as well as grants to develop art projects. What I’ve enjoyed the most are the artist lectures, events and exhibitions developed in spaces such as Walker Art Center, Midway Contemporary Art, Weisman Art Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, because they connect the local community with a wider scene.

Where do you do your best work?

Right now my studio is at my home, which for me is the ideal place to work. If I have the chance, I always prefer to combine my home and my studio, since they’re not separate areas for me. My workspace has natural light, good music, art materials and books that inspire me.

The natural world plays a strong role in your work. What is your connection to nature?

I am interested in nature and our relationship with it throughout history. I believe there is a broken link between humanity and the environment that has made us believe we are two separate things. In my paintings, I encourage viewers to track these lost connections with nature in order to achieve a more holistic perspective.