Victor Rivera

Victor Rivera was born in Puerto Rico. He grew up in central Florida and is currently living in Upstate New York. He earned his Master of Fine Art degree at Syracuse University in 2014. Victor currently teaches as an adjunct instructor of photography at Syracuse University and is the Exhibitions and Collections Manager at Light Work.

Desi Doesn’t Have a Man to Love

This ongoing body of work reflects the social dynamics of a working class community in my hometown of central Florida. Over the years of returning home then leaving again and again, the project evolved into an investigation of how familial bonds are formed and tested over time. I am interested in how trauma – on larger social scales, as well as intimate and private interactions – impact and inform the construction of family, community and identity.

Experiences of the fractured family I grew up in are echoed through the circumstances of the people I work with. Hope for the future often feels misplaced and tinged with the real probability of failure. These images speak to desires for both escape and inclusion while navigating shifting paradigms of family structure. The subjects participate in a shared narrative negotiating anxieties and certainties of social expectations. A kiss, a poke, a sidelong glance can be cruel or tender.

Coming-of-age and fumbling through rites of passage is an ongoing process that is both social and individual. While my connection to this place becomes increasingly tenuous, my position as both an outsider and as a member of these communities informs the construction of the images.

To view more of Victor Rivera’s work please visit his website.