Juan Rivas' Ephemeral Landscape Interventions @ Asalto Alfamén, Zaragoza
We've been featuring the unusual yet masterfully conceived, placed, and executed public interventions by Juan Rivas in the past, and were pleased to see the artist making a new series for the 15th edition of Asalto Alfamén festival in Zaragoza. Adding to an impressive collection of public art created over the years, the Pontevedra-based artist painted snapshots of the local landscapes on light posts, road signs, and similar existing structures.
The main idea behind Rivas' unexpected interventions is to mark the point of view and capture both the subtle changes that happen through the day as well as street art's ephemeral nature. In order to achieve those, he is working from his own photographs of a certain location, freezing its light and color setting to a very particular moment. By doing this, the artist is showcasing the never ending cycle of light and shadow play which revolves in front of our eyes, mostly unnoticed, triggering our curiosity and urge to discover the differences between the reality and depicted image.
Simultaneously, Rivas is displaying the importance of a viewing point as the viewer starts moving around the location and noticing how the depth and the perspective alternate the "original" image. Almost exclusively using such techniques as pastel, chalk, pencils, or markers, the work becomes exceptionally sensitive to the outdoor conditions and allows for a short and uncertain life span. This element makes discovering and witnessing these precious pieces that much more surprising and memorable, so we're happy to be able to share them with you. —Sasha Bogojev