Painter Brian M. Viveros loves a kick-ass leading lady. His hypertechnical, cinematically crisp portraits of beautiful women with distinct personalities, all look like they just won a rumble. Enamored of what he calls, “the iconography of the femme-fatale as a powerful emblem of strength and retaliation,” Viveros’ work in oil, airbrush, acrylic, and ink are rich with plentiful detail. With comic-book energy backstories and the radiance of knowing they could win any fight, the women in Viveros’ paintings may be fantasy, gaming, or sci-fi inspired but their hyperreality and stance of challenge has the ring of truth. An exhibition of his recent work is on view at Thinkspace until November 19.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
BRIAN M. VIVEROS: I’d say when I was around four I wanted to draw all my toys, so I would set them up and create scenes and draw my figures fighting in battle. I also can also remember drawing the TV Guide covers when I was like 5 or 6. My mom would always save them and tell me to draw them, it was a good exercise in portrait drawing. The TV Guide always had the best pictures on the cover.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
Short answer in three words, I say women of power!
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Probably directing but that’s an art so maybe a tequila and taco expert, ha! I really don’t know; I only see and live through art. I know that might sound silly but I don’t think there’s really anything else I can do but be creative, and I still feel there’s so much more to learn and become as an artist.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
No art school for me. I did go to a community college for a little bit and took an art class but it just wasn’t my thing. I felt like it was a waste of time for me. I’ve always felt like I had my own agenda and other things to do — things to create — and that I was going to pave my own path and push myself really hard and make a name for myself in the art world. You have to believe in what you do, I’ve always been very driven in that sense even as a kid. My dad would always say “never be bored, be creative with your time.”
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I actually live in Upland which is about 40 minutes from L.A., inland. I like where I’m at. I have an awesome home studio and spend the day being creative. My dog Mr. Logan is my whole universe. If I need to meet up in L.A. it’s an easy drive.
When was your first show?
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
I just had my big Mania opening at Thinkspace Projects on October 29th and it was EPIC! It was my seventh solo exhibition and was my largest body of work to date, over 25 pieces. It was also the biggest Halloween art party and celebration with so many people dressed like my DirtyLand characters, the night was magical. For all your readers, drop by Thinkspace Projects & check out my show, it’s up til November 19th so you still got time!
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
I would love to work with Alejandro Jodorowsky on a very surreal and twisted film.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
Always got to have music playing and the coffee goin’ and I dig all kinds of music. You name it but I do like a lot of old school hip hop when I’m working, and I dig a lot of underground indie bands. Sometimes I’ll hear the same album over and over and over again all day. I just got the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I dig Karen O — she reminds me of one of my paintings, especially in her new video where she’s sporting a kick-ass helmet.
Website and social media handles, please!
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