Rubén Rivero Capriles

en español, en français, and in English!

Recent Posts



Email Notifications


My first interview: Art is commitment and support for life

"Each new technology ends up converting interesting plastic proposals into obsolete"

An approximation to the plastic legacy of Rubén Rivero Capriles, by Alvaro Pérez Capiello

A cloudy afternoon, when the mountain seemed to avoid the stress of a city in perpetual movement, we initiated an informal conversation with Rubén Rivero Capriles. Plastic artist and admirer of abstraction regarding exploratory art that looks for new ways of expression, in face of the objective reality, he did not hesitate remembering Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian.

Which authors and sculptors do you specially admire?

El Greco was a precursor of modern psychology through his highly complex themes and characters, defying the moral and religious standards of his time. Salvador Dalí, through his drawings, yuxtaposed dream elements without an apparent formal relationship between them, achieving a beautiful wholeness. Henri Matisse rebelled against the academic painters who received many awards at the French salons of his time. I admire Aramndo Reverón, who under the lights of the tropics made his own an itemization similar to the whiteness and texture of the snow and ice within the complex vocabulary of the native eskimo people. Tomás Golding, in turn, offers a happy treatment of the orange color and a varied pallet of pictorical themes that make his paintings unrepetitive, even while featuring his seal

Is an artist born, or is he made through experience?

All human beings are born with some artistic potential that is manifested through experience through unsuspected ways. Experience, however, also becomes a double edged sword when creation, as I particularly noticed in my last few drawings, gets repetitive with a greater frequency.

On which pictorical movement would you classify your work?

Maybe fauvism is out of fashion and had its time, but its treatment of color is central in my proposals. Pointillism, whose postulate of conveying value on each square inch of cloth, was highly criticized at its moment; nowadays it constitutes the basis both for my creations as well as the *.jpg formatted computer files. As a good contemporary Venezuelan I grew up admiring the creations of the cinetic masters. It results uncomfortable for me to say that my work, in pastels and charcoal, are abstract.

How did you search your own style?

I started drawing during the boreal autumn of 1992 to comply with an art requirement imposed by my undergraduate institution, Hamilton College. I am thankful that the liberal arts scheme comelled me to take that Drawing 101 course. I started from scratch, with no previous technique or experience. My professor, Lou Getty, decided from the very beginning not to impose any particular style on me and suggested me to look for my own path. It resulted in the only A+ grade I earned during my whole undergraduate career. Later on I took with her a Sculpture course where one of my works, “The pregnant man”, was strongly criticized by some classmates due to the controversial issue at hand. This proves that the role of any artist is to impress emotions upon the spectator.

Do you share your plastic work with other activities?

I share my plastic work with the presidence of a U.S. usiness specializaed in imports and exports of raw materials and intermediate goods. I also serve as the sales manager of a company that distributes in Venezuela various industrial products. I write bilingual articles weekly on various topics and I am a Spanish, English and French translator.

Do you consider that the glleries in Venezuela adequately promote the artists' work?

The art market is probably the world's most speculative. It leaves in diapers the stocks and the foreign exchange markets. It is an enormous injustice for van Gogh that his works, today, are valued within tens of millions of dollars, while during his time he was unable to earn a decent living through their sale. On my part, I have allocated the sale of my works to the private Odalys Gallery in Caracas.

Art vs. Authenticity

After a needed pause, the interviewed did not hesitate to focus some words to the personal commitment of any artist.

Whenever an artist subordinates his commitment to the current social current, he or she risks leaving his art on an inferior plane and he or she is converted into an advertising agent of a given ideology.

After revising the 19th century Art History, we find out that there were many artists who, while trying to perfectly follow the “ism” of the moment, they were unable to leave their own real legacy. Their commitments, either by economic or other motives, were in contradiction with universality.

The commitment at the ecological level is more difficult to discern. Although many artists intend to impress our commitment to the planet's ecology, we certainly use paints, thinner and fixation spray that are highly toxic and polluting to the environment. However, current technology has not yet resolved this issue which, to my understanding, contradicts our ideals of diminishing life destruction on Earth.

Definitely, an interconnected humanity will be less prone to keep on inventing devastating wars and international redtape. One of the main motivations in my work is to achieve a cultural understanding between the peoples of the Americas.

Print interview available on