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Reynaldo Rivera:
Fistful of Love/También la belleza

May 16, 2024 – September 9, 2024


The first solo museum exhibition of artist Reynaldo Rivera (b. 1964, Mexicali, Mexico) includes recent and iconic works, as well as never-before-seen photographs from his archive. On view from May 16 through September 9, Reynaldo Rivera: Fistful of Love/También La belleza features fifty artworks, comprised of black-and-white and color photographs from 1981 to the present, a feature-length film newly edited from archival Hi8 footage, and ephemera. The artist’s pictures of an everyday intercultural bohemia—whether staged or captured behind the scenes—reveal their subjects as they desire to be seen: as stars in a film of their own making.

Raised between Mexicali, Stockton, Pasadena, and San Diego de la Unión, Rivera eventually settled in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and into the artistic and activist milieu emerging around post-punk in the 1980s. As a self-taught photographer, Rivera first turned his camera to those close to him, including his sisters, who remained muses for decades. Working predominantly in black and white, the artist rinsed his earliest prints in a converted dark room, where his bathtub doubled as a developing tray. Rivera’s photographs are often made with available light—both natural and artificial—a technique that indirectly emphasizes the details of social environments he depicts, making use of spotlights at the Anti-Club, vanity lights backstage, birthday candles on cake, and streetlamps on Santee Alley. His approach to image-making is informed by the drama and deep emotion of boleros and rancheras, the glamour of Old Hollywood and the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, and predecessors like Nadar, Brassaï, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The exhibition is organized by Lauren Mackler, guest curator, and Kari Rittenbach, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.

Major support for Reynaldo Rivera: Fistful of Love/También la belleza is provided by The Young Patrons Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Significant support is provided by David Dechman and Michel Mercure, and Jarl and Pamela Mohn.

Learn more about the exhibition on our website.


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Reynaldo Rivera. Herminia and Reynaldo Rivera. 1981. Silver gelatin print. Courtesy the artist

Reynaldo Rivera. Pamela Mendez and Pablo Aguirre Lopez, Echo Park. 1994. Courtesy the artist and Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Reynaldo Rivera. Bianco, Echo Park. 1992. Courtesy the artist and Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Reynaldo Rivera. Bus Stop, Sonora. 1991. Courtesy the artist

Reynaldo Rivera. Carla, Echo Park. 1997. Courtesy the artist and Reena Spaulings Fine Art