Week 7 – Interview With an Artist – Daniel Rivera

This week I had the pleasure of viewing my favorite student art presentation and the student art galleries so far!  Daniel Rivera and Vanessa Gamboa created an image that will be memorable for me for years to come.  The work was titled “Chrysalis” as it resembled the outer layer of the cocoon of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.


Featured in the gallery were a pile of clothes, rags and gauze as well as a video showing “Chrysalis” in different settings.


I asked artist Daniel Rivera about the pile of textiles on the floor of the exhibit.  He explained they were reminiscent of opening day were “Chrysalis” was actually performed live sadly I was not in attendance that day.  The work itself, featured on the video, showed a couple holding one another, surrounded in a cocoon of gauze. They stood in a variety of setting such as that of a Metro bus and the very busy Placita Olvera.  I felt the piece communicated love as the couple seemed to hold one another in a very caressing way. I asked Daniel if this was the goal and he agreed but added it also meant to communicate healing, as indicated by the use of gauze.  The healing aspect was important because it showed how love can have a healing affect on two people from any back ground.  The couple was for the most part completely covered perhaps to emphasize that love, and the subsequent healing from love, was blind to any background or physical trait two people coming together may have.  Daniel went on to elaborate on the cocoon symbolizing becoming one as the chrysalis became a singular object from two previously separate identities. I was curious as to the choice in settings as they varied very much in the amount of activity going on around the couple.  I admired how there were quiet shots where the couple was the focus of the shot, and there were busier shots where the contrast between the silence of the chrysalis and the busy world was the focus.  Daniel said the choice in settings was merely to show love in different settings.  Ironically though, in one social setting, that being the Metro Bus, the passengers of the bus were not social at all and stayed away from the couple.  In Placita Olvera however, there was a positive reaction by those passing by and even a hug by a stranger, as shown in the video.  Overall I thought both the choice in materials, and the settings in which “Chrysalis” was performed, was very thought out. One can experience the essence of love and healing by gazing at the couple holding one another under the wraps of gauze. The piece reminded me of my own experience of love and healing and was thus successful in its endeavor to communicate these emotions.  I really enjoyed “Chrysalis” and strong feel it is a beautiful work of art.  To read more about the amazing artists who created “Chrysalis”,  and the work itself, click on the riveragamboa tag!