Margo Rivera-Weiss and Tropical Expressionism

Margo Rivera-Weiss adores colors, pattern, and using tools. She draws on her ethnic heritage, family background and artistic energy to create an eclectic body of work that includes recycled and bottle cap creations, Hebrew calligraphics and “a world of fruit — made primarily in the mediums of watercolor and India ink.”  She calls her style of art “tropical expressionism” and makes and sells art in Oakland, California.

Margo thrives on the creative process: “the smell of art in progress, the spring of brush in hand ... I take particular delight in making something out of what would ordinarily be considered garbage. This is a direct result of my parents schooling me in Flea Market 101.”

Margo has a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She is self-taught in the use of recycled materials, pen and ink, and acrylic painting, although she hasstudied at Studio One, La Raza Graphics, SF State, Lehrhaus Judaica, and the Japanese Cultural Center.

Margo has exhibited throughout the Bay Area, including the SF Public Library, La Peña Gallery, the Japanese Cultural Center, the Jewish Community Library, EBMUD and the Alice Arts Center. Margo is a regular illustrator for Edible East Bay. Her art has been published in Other Tongues, Bridges, and Fireweed. She has built numerous ofrendas for el Dia de los Muertos celebrations throughout the Bay Area. In 1998 Margo initiated the JanRae Community Art Gallery at the Women's Cancer Resource Center in Oakland, which she continues to curate. Margo is a former board member of QWOCMAP and the Richmond Art Center. She won the Oakland Indie Award in 2009.

Margo's has two painting in the current show DOCE: 12x12 Silent Auction. Here is a little more on her thoughts regarding Spotted Mango and Am I Azul? 

Spotted Mango

This painting represents the tropical, colorful feelings I remember as a child in Miami. My family was fortunate to have a mango tree in our yard and that particular delicious flavor seems to have always been present in my life. This is my attempt to express the warmth and passion of a mango.

The painting is rendered in transparent watercolor on a special finely woven watercolor canvas that was prepared with an initial layer of gesso. After completion the watercolor was treated with fixative then three layers of spray varnish for ultimate protection.

Am I Azul?

This portrait is a composite of the masculine and masculine-of-center folks in my Peruvian family including myself. I included shades of blue as that was my late father's favorite color and one of mine as well.

I'm interested in facial features, especially within Latinx ethnicity which is often comprised of several racial groups. And I enjoy representing facial features individually as they unite to form the whole face.

This was painted with acrylics on repurposed wood. To bid on her artwork visit the DOCE: 12x12 Auction page.