He lived for eight years in New York City where he worked as a kitchen helper, construction worker and as a worker in a paint factory to support his painting. In 1979, the artist Max Zimmerman saw Rivera’s work at the Latin American Institute in Madison Street and invited him to Munich as an assistant teacher at the Kunstakademie. After a year of intensive work and studies he returned to Mexico, invited by the Museo de Arte Moderno where his work was exhibited for the first time.
Since then, he has participated in international group shows in New York City, Puerto Rico, La Habana, Munich, Medellin, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, London, Poland and the Nordic countries where his work is highly appreciated.
He has showed individually in Chicago, New York City and Mexico, where his work has been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey and Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes; at the Museo de la Tertulia de Cali, Colombia; Banco Central de Quito; Instituto Cultural Mexicano, Washington D.C.; Die Haus der Kunst, Munich; Casa de las Américas, Cuba; and at the Instituto de la Cultura Puertorriqueña. His work is also kept in private art collections, mainly in Mexico City, Houston, New York, Switzerland and Helsinki.
"There are realities that would not really exist if it were not because Arturo Rivera has painted them."
He now lives and works in Mexico City.
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