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Born in Argentina, Pato Rivero is from San Miguel de Tucumàn, in the northwest of the country. Pato studies graphic design and is particularly interested in photography which serves as a means of expression. This strong interest will lead the young man to leave his hometown, and join Buenos Aires to take courses at the Andy Goldstein School of Photography (Escuela de Fotografia Creativa). It is also in the Argentine capital that Pato Rivero began his career as a photographer. Self-taught, a lover of music, painting and drawing, the artist develops a style that synthesizes all these disciplines in his image composition. Possessing an intuitive vision of color and light, he also stands out with a unique photography development technique. He collaborated with several renowned Argentinian stylists, notably in his series, Erase una vez... (“Once upon a time...”) where each photograph is styled by a different designer. Rivero has also broadened her horizons by working in theatre, fashion and television among others. Since 2009, the Argentinian photographer has been a photo editor for OLV magazine El Mundo del Olivo (The World of the olive tree), an Argentinian and Uruguayan publication.


The male nude is the most representative element of Riveros work. In the stories he depicts there are many references to fairy tales (Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen). According to the artist Juan Batalla, a compatriot of Pato Rivero, there is nothing natural in the latter's shots. The photos are constructed from start to finish and offer a totally artificial vision which becomes a constant in his work and ultimately one of the main characteristics. His use of dark and light creates such contrast that the figures appear to be frozen. The shadows materialize in a concrete way and in the darkness one feels strange forces emerging. Through this process, the photographer sublimates unreality. Batalla sees in the work of his contemporary the baroque spirit of Caravaggio. The photographer engages in a dramatic nude where he introduces a contrast between violence and immobility. Rosa Olivares, editor of the magazine Exit, explains Riveros position this way: “In all these tales, these magical stories, there is a process of transformation from childhood to adulthood. The problems are solved according to the perseverance and qualities of the characters: courage, loyalty, kindness, love and responsibility. These qualities are the springboard to face a very dangerous and constantly changing landscape”.


Can you describe your style as a good friend would?

At Pato, the elements are carefully selected, with a very clear objective in the mind of the artist. Nothing is left to chance. The elements are combined to produce powerful symbolic images. Its style is baroque, transporting its author to childhood memories, but with a provocative and more mature reverse. It a very good way to revisit your memories as an adult, far from the naive mind that children can have.


Your main influences?

I have boundless admiration for Italian painters like Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio. They inspire a good part of the figurative side of my works as well as, of course, the chiaroscuro from other Baroque painters, while studying the way they play with light, thus broadening my creative possibilities, in particular the games of light. For literature, I am always on the lookout for books that deal with legends, tales and traditions. I expanded the subject by adding texts from other Latin American countries. I consider cinema as a necessity, from classic to contemporary, from national cinema to international cinema. There are films that I watch more than once, such as “Orlando” by Sally Potter, “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott or “The Pianist” by Michael Haneke. This is the artistic genre whose information I quickly absorb, starting with the aesthetic aspect and then observing in all the details the incredible diversity that exists in the way of telling stories.


Why so many references to tales and legends?

Both my father and my aunt took it upon themselves to awaken in me a taste for tales and legends. Thanks to their reading, the first values took on body and strength for me. In my case, this reading was very significant. It is a space where perseverance triumphs and imagination begins an endless journey. The legends of the north of my country generally come to us through popular oral tradition. I try, in works like Apacheta de Leyendas, to arouse curiosity for these stories that I feel are mine and that should not be forgotten because they justified the inexplicable and spoke of the fears and hopes of ancient times.


How do your images come to life?

I am a whimsical child. Images come to me constantly. But in a photographic series, it is essential that a first image comes to mind. I want it to not just be the common thread, the title that allows the rest to be constructed. This will condition the entire development of the project. It is fundamental for me to know in my heart what I want to talk about. Then I define whether I rely on the naked, on the clothed, on the decor or on a whole set because these are variants, in the same way as the diaphragm, the speed and the sensitivity.

- Find the continuation of Pato Rivero inNormal Magazine n°4 -

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