Maria Rivans is known for her scrapbook-style collage aesthetic. A mash-up of Surrealism meets Pop-Art, Rivans’ work re-appropriates vintage ephemera, transporting the viewer into fantastical imagined worlds. Her works are suffused with vivid colour, arresting imagery, intricate detail, and finished with a dusting of subtle humour.
Rivans studied 3D design at the University of Brighton, before turning to jewellery design and setting up her own workshop. An aptitude for the visual arts was in her blood: growing up with her Italian family in Essex, hours of her childhood were devoted to drawing and listening to music. She covered her bedroom walls with film and pop heroes, soaking up the televisual culture that would come to form her greatest influence.
Intertwining different film and TV genres – from vintage Hollywood, to 1970s sci-fi, B-movies and TV trash – Rivans’ work is in a constant dialogue with cultures of the past, reinventing existing film plots and narratives, while spinning bizarre and dreamlike tales.
Her use of collage reflects the complex and fragmented world from which the art arises, but it is balanced with an attention to beauty and to harmony of composition. In her pin-up series, Rivans reclaims iconic femininity to champion female strength; her exotic and escapist works are often laced with ominous undertones, to remind us of the darker side of human nature; utopian imagery from 1950s pop-culture speaks to today’s obsession with consumerism; while a persistent love of sci-fi illustrates the fact that Rivans’ work is always a meditation on the greater question of ‘life, the universe, and everything’.