In 1974, a sixteen year old (ADHD and gifted) boy successfully answered his father's dare by making a copy of a professional's landscape painting. When the copy was seen by a local pastor (who mistook John for an artist), he was immediately asked to do a major commission. Not withstanding the fact that he had never painted before, had no art training or artistic aspirations, he accepted the offer. Six months later, the result was a 2,275 square-feet tapestry-like mural inside one of the largest temples in the island of Puerto Rico. With this daring move, John Rivera-Resto was hurled into the world of art.
"El jardín del Eden" (the Garden of Eden), John's first mural painting (2,275 square-feet), at age 16. Iglesia Fuente de Salvación Misionera, Barrio Lijas de Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, 1974. Acrylic paint on smooth concrete. The photograph shows only half.
Since, John has used his forty-five years of artistic training and experience working in the fields of fine arts, dramatic arts, art education, film making, creative writing and visual design. While mostly known to the Cleveland public as a master-muralist, a designer or a portrait painter, his works have actually made him a favorite with private collectors and the public at large. But it comes as a surprise to many that, in spite of John's remarkable expertise with the paintbrush, this reluctant artist actually prefers the writing pen as his creative instrument of choice. As a matter of fact, all his major works begin with a written description of what the finished art will look like to the smallest detail.
Being an artist born of two cultures, two languages, and two very distinct times, and, being an individual experienced in the many and unexpected twists of life since his early youth, make John an explosive combination of pragmatism and romantic idealism that expresses itself in a variety of creative ways. Browsing through the pages of this website will introduce you to John's art in a candid and entertaining manner. The fact that his ecletic and prodigious body of work appear to have been done by several completely different individuals add a new level of interest to both the reading and the viewing.
Defining John's particular art style is an exercise in futility. He doesn't seem to follow any predetermined path in a life that appears to be steered by unpredictable twists of fate. He actually never really tried to build an artistic career. Even more intriguing is the fact that he never ever paints unless someone hires him to do so. But contradictions aside, his creative output provide ample evidence of great control, practice, knowledge and discipline in both thoughts and actions. His mind never rests. When not occupied with painting commissions, doing drama (writing, acting, directing, designing), restoring mansions, designing for entertainment venues or doing community work, John returns to his lifelong attempts at teaching Spanish to his children -
John Rivera-Resto has a B.A. in Art Education from