R i c k R i v e t : B i o g r a p h y
Born Sahtu-Metis in the remote area of Aklavik in the Northwest Territories of Canada in 1949, Rivet grew up close to the land. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Saskatchewan. Recognizing that education institutions largely ignored the art of indigenous peoples, Rivet devoted his Master's thesis to shamanism and the creativity of cultures throughout the world.
According to Rivet, "[his] art deals with the idea of bearing witness to the strong spiritual content within the artistic traditions of aboriginal peoples in Canada and worldwide." Rick Rivet transcends many boundaries -- artistic genre, cultural and political -- to create a mystical relationship between his art and the viewer. With his multilayered blend of media and styles, Rivet addresses imagery from Native American cultures as well as Inuit, ancient Norse and African cultures. Rivet has also been influenced by such affluent artists as Matisse, Gauguin, Klee, Tapies, Rauchenberg and Jasper Johns. Rivet's initial work, which he began exhibiting in 1985, explored his background in drawing and printmaking, along with his interest in figure-ground relationships. These early works explored the beliefs, rituals and traditions of cultures through figures, masks, drums and pictographs while challenging the history and mentality of colonialism.
His latest work - his Mound and Journey series - explores the " journey of the human spirit through the space/matter/time continuum...where the modern artist is compelled to recognize and participate in the binding ties of a common spiritual heritage." In this series, featuring mounds, canoes, medicine wheels and cosmic events, Rivet unites several art genres, cultural attributes and histories, and sacred icons.