“I am not the first person to recognize the beauty of gourds. I get a lot of inspiration from the Native American people.” - Robert Rivera
Rivera transforms the humble gourd into an object of beauty, power, and symbolism. As such, they become highly collectible fine art objects. With a limitless supply of ideas and designs, Rivera sees every gourd differently, often instantly discerning its possibilities and how to transform it into art. He loves the old designs prevalent in Native American culture, especially the Anasazi, Hohokam and Mimbres bird and animal designs which he incorporates into his gourd pots and rattles.
Possibly the first to use gourds as a fine art medium in a contemporary southwestern fashion, Rivera has created medicine men chanters, Navajo warriors, Hopi butterfly maidens, Navajo drummers, turtle storytellers and masks of every size and description. The gourds are stitched, etched, cut, broken, scorched, sandblasted, dyed and wrapped. They are adorned with yucca fiber, suede, buckskin, raffia, African beads, shells, heishi from the Santo Domingo Pueblo, inlaid turquoise, willow sticks, horsehair, turkey feathers, cloth, snakeskin, and Tablita headdresses.